Shark Rafting and Lava House

Well, no injuries to report, save a couple of sunburned knees, and a sinus-full of river water. Whitewater rafting was a pretty cewl experience, and a lot less life threatening than the whitewater canoeing I did a couple of years back. This time, there were twelve of us on a raft, plus one guide — who really knew what he was doing. We got to very nearly capsize on several occasions, but no one ever got thrown from the boat. That’s always good, though some strange people relish the idea of being bucked out into rapidly moving water.
The resort was kind of an interesting place, kind of like a Club Med (complete with lousy reggae music), except with different vegetation, and bigger mosquitos (and deer flies, horse flies, etc). The food was surprisingly good, and they made accommodations for vegetarians. There was even a pub, with a hot tub — not that anyone was that interested in getting wet again. It surprised me that you could go to the resort and *not* go whitewater rafting, but it made sense if you were with a group of people, and were deathly afraid of drowning.
I opted not to buy the $44 video of the run, not because it was hastily-edited and poorly composed, but because there wasn’t much footage of us in it. The camera operator focused on the rafts that lost people, or that fully capsized in some of the more dangerous rapids. I’m sure those people would be first in line to grab a copy of the tape, just so they could show it to their friends and say things like, “See, that’s where I almost died.”
Granted, we seemed a little blasé about the whole thing. Our boat was comprised of people who had done this before, and people who were afraid to do some of the larger stunts. When the guide tried to get us pumped: “Are you guys ready to get in on a couple of big, chunky hits?!” we’d merely reply, “Sure,” or “OK.” Whole other rafts were hooting like a Jerry Springer studio audience, and we were more like a library common room.
When we got home, the house was a hot 33C, so we engaged the A/C and stewed for a couple of hours. In an attempt to ease our suffering, we opted to go with some friends to see “Sharkboy and Lavagirl,” mostly because it was a Rodriguez film. He’s done some good work before, and we’d had no qualms about seeing a kid’s film if it was worth watching. In this case, though, the film was entirely forgettable. The story was all over the place, the motivations were weak, and the moral lesson was somewhat ambiguous (i.e. it’s OK to dream, or something like that). There was exposition where no exposition was required (“hey, those cookie giants looked kind of like my parents”). The 3-D was technically more of a problem than an enhancement, really, and it tended to wash out some of the bright colours that Rodriguez likes putting in his films. It gave the film a more noir-ish quality, and I felt an eerie link to “Sin City,” and no one wants that in a kid’s film. Also, the theatre was a little too cold. I was pleased to get back to my stuffy house.

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