WE HEARD IT BEFORE WE saw it, the thunder of the waterfall and the nervous laughs of other aventureros inundated the atmosphere. We were canyonering El Salto, which is a hidden gem between Rosarito and Ensenada.
It has been in our to do list for quite sometime, but we finally had the chance to adventure ourselves into this classic trip in Baja. Its charm is best described by versatile word in Mexican Spanish: chingon, which means many things but most often "cool" or "legit." Baja Adventures is known to put the spicy on adventures, just like you put salsa on tacos amigo.
So, after gearing up we proceeded to rappel down. I stood on the border and swallowed the apple I was eating after realizing how deep the canyon was. I then heard "quien sigue" and knew it was time to rumble. I approached the guide and grabbed the ropes firmly with my both hands and put my back to the cliff and off I went, I took a jump at El Salto!
When we touched base we were welcomed by other aventureros. We started to walk around the space, which has a particular shiny black stone that is so famous at El Salto, for its natural beauty and for how slippery it can be. We stayed put and started to enjoy the beautiful waterfall that created a spectacular rainbow.
We had to rappel across a stream that had very slippery rocks and a lot of people slipped but were very well secured with the ropes. It was a challenge, but eventually everyone made it through, and for that I was very impressed, because it was quite a challenge.
After crossing the running river we were faced with another challenge. We had to descend into a rocky platform that was being showered by the waterfall, We had to wait for quite sometime, because the zip line that descended us to the bottom of the canyon was still being worked on.
It was here that we realized that the zip line was not intended to cross all the way through, but just part of the water obstacles..
We were concerned about how the water situation because not only was our gear in danger but we were also wondering how could it was going to be (we didn't have extra dry clothes with us.)
Monica was the first one to go down, she is the most experienced rock climber in our team, so she went ahead in order to scout a different route to cross the water. When we all descended to Survival Island (this name was made up by us) Monica had a quick answer to the problem, "I have a quick release system that we can use to cross without getting wet." She then proceeded to explain that she was going to be the one carrying our top notch gear, in order to prevent it from getting wet. She then turned to Nathalie and said, "you ready girl?"
It was such an experience seeing these two ladies boulder across, it was such a bad @$$ moment because passion and necessity combined and hence our adventure became even more epic!
After they crossed I was sent the quick release system in order to try to cross the same way they did. I first tried sending Monica's backpack through the zip line but I was not able to pull down the cord to properly hitch with a caribeaner, so I worked a quick knot.
I started to approach the cliff and slowly released the back pack, which was immediately catapulted to the air and right afterwards slammed into the water. Apparently I didn't do this right. The back pack remained loyal to the rope but the box that was attached to it flew away and crashed into the water as well. So, Polo had to jump into the water and save the box!
After the catapult backpack episode I proceeded to climb across with Monica's gear. At first it seemed pretty easy, but then I realized how much strength and discipline rock climbing demands. I managed to get across, but I felt my arms and back were on fire!
There was not that much time to celebrate, because it was already late and we had to continue our journey.
After walking for a little bit and jumping across a pond I heard someone say, "it doesn't even matter, you are going to get wet anyways," I looked at Nathalie and made a confused face. It turns out that there was another large body of water that we needed to cross.
We sat down and enjoyed the view, even though we knew that the freezing water was going to be unavoidable. It was here that I decided to go full undies style. Yes, I took off my hiking boots and left only my backpack and undies, because desperate times call for desperate measures.
The time came for me to rappel down through the most slippery rocks I have walked in my life. I then saw people jumping into the water while throwing their backpacks. I walked and passed a mini waterfall and then proceeded to set my back pack on a dry.
After, I sat down and slowly slid into the freezing water. I felt cold, I felt the excitement, I felt my heart pumping, and I felt resurrected! I was able to reach the bottom, so I grabbed my bag, left it on top of my head, and slowly walked all the way to the shore.
As soon as everyone made it safely we powered through all the way to the top and only stopped once to enjoy the view, where Nathalie said, "I actually really enjoyed this adventure," and Monica and I bobbed our heads with a firm "hell yeah!"
We continued our hike until we finally got to our car, took off the wet clothes, and started our journey back home.
This was a very fun trip in which we took a Yoga Instructor and Rock Climbing Instructor from San Diego. Ladies, thank you so much for trusting us and we enjoyed your company to the fullest, hope you enjoyed the crazy adventure as well!
-JAVIER ALEJANDRO INZUNZA