Cool, Cool River

“Do you want to jump, sir?”  Edsil, our guide on the hike to Tangadan Falls, asked me this several times.  I kept reminding him that jumping from heights is not for me.  A refreshing swim in the cold water at the falls was all I needed.
My students, and now fellow adventure-seekers, McTery and Alzera, were up at six doing their chores so that we could get to the falls.  After a stop to see some of the high school street dancing, we continued on to San Juan, the next town up from San Fernando, famous for its surfing beach.
From there, we had to hire a tricycle for the afternoon.  Our driver would take us into the mountains on bumpy roads for 45 minutes and wait for us while we hiked to the falls.  At the trailhead, there were many guides ready for the hikers.  It is advisable to hire one, especially if it’s your first time (and you’ve got two kids with you).

On the way to town

Edsil was a fast hiker.  In fact, I couldn’t even talk to him since he was always so far ahead of us.  He was also very shy and not too confident with his English.  We eventually stopped at one of the kiosks along the trail so we could have a snack and catch our breath.  It was 3.5 km to the falls, crossing the river several times, going up and down hills, in the sun and through the forest.  Since it was a Saturday, we saw quite a few other groups, and passed most of them.
By the time we arrived at the falls, I did not care how much my white skin glowed in the sun, or how cold the water was.  I felt completely refreshed and relaxed in the cool water.  I swam under the falls and around the large, deep pool below.  McTery and Alzera stayed in the more shallow waters near the edge having their own fun.
We stayed for a few hours, getting in and out of the water, taking pictures, and hiking to the top of the falls for the views and another swimming spot.  I eventually got Edsil to talk to me and we had several conversations on the way back.  It turns out he’s 18, has been a guide for three years, and he’s a surfer without a surfboard.  
All this happened as I heard news of an approaching blizzard back home.  There is no doubt in my mind that all of the planning, saving and sacrifices made in order to take this year off have been so very worth it.  I’m just wondering which of my readers will be next!

Our tricycle

Drying corn on the road

I did not try this.










Comments (22):

  1. anne

    March 24, 2017 at 06:51

    Well Tim that look like an extremely fun day the pictures and the scenery of the falls are stunning!Alzera and McTery look like they were having a great time!! Well when you move on to your next destination I’m going to truly miss Alzera and McTery in your blog. take care

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 07:59

      I’ll miss them, too!

      Reply
  2. Lori

    March 24, 2017 at 07:34

    What a lovely adventure!!!!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 07:59

      I should do more things like this at home!

      Reply
  3. Daria

    March 24, 2017 at 10:58

    Very cool Tim! I wish I could swim in a waterfall! Today is the first day it’s cool in Santiago- been very hot! Enjoy :))

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:02

      You’re heading into winter! Nice to hear from you, Daria. Best of luck with your project.

      Reply
  4. Karen

    March 24, 2017 at 12:20

    I just love reading your posts!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:02

      Thanks, Karen! It’s not the same without Vicky Ann, but she’s here in spirit.

      Reply
  5. Vicky Ann Deledda

    March 24, 2017 at 13:21

    Thanks for the simulated adventure! And chickens, I know who you threw them in for! I guess I’m surprised that you didn’t jump the falls, seeing that you hiked all the way up there. Transportation certainly is different isn’t it, might be hard to adapt when you come back… love all the photos as usual!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:04

      My friend took the chicken picture and I told him who would love it. Wish we had tricycles and motorbikes on every corner at home – I wouldn’t need a car.

      Reply
  6. Paula Agins

    March 24, 2017 at 14:45

    What a great adventure. I think I might of jumped!!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:04

      I’ll be ready with my camera when you do!

      Reply
  7. Susanne Murphy

    March 24, 2017 at 15:32

    I am with you on not jumping— but perhaps twenty years ago………..

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:05

      Definitely! Something about over 50 – I get more adventurous, unless it involves heights.

      Reply
  8. Linda A Wight

    March 24, 2017 at 20:27

    Fun day! Thanks for sharing. Light snow in Me today :). YOu’re looking good Tim.

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 25, 2017 at 08:07

      I didn’t post the embarrassing pictures McTery took of me swimming.

      Reply
  9. Cindy Cassidy

    March 25, 2017 at 18:53

    You and me both will not be jumping from those falls!! Now…swimming at the bottom of them, that’s what I’m talking about!!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 26, 2017 at 23:16

      I’ll be waiting for you there next time.

      Reply
  10. Deidre Toole

    March 27, 2017 at 17:23

    Would love to have you be my tour guide, but need a few more years before I can jump in! Retirement will inspire me for sure.
    You are living the dream in so many ways. WOW! The photographs are amazing too!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      March 29, 2017 at 22:57

      Just call me when you’re ready!

      Reply
  11. Diane Weisman

    April 2, 2017 at 09:15

    Tim,
    Looks like a great day.You weren’t afraid of heights when we made a whirlpool in the kiddy pool, and we burst the sides on top of Wilkinson Hall the summer of 1986.

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      April 2, 2017 at 22:16

      Oh, what a memory!

      Reply

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