River Fun & Safety Tips

Ahhh… the river. It’s beautiful, cool, and relaxing. The sound of the water flowing does something to you; something nice. However, like the beach, the river also can be dangerous is certain situations. Keep these things in mind when at the river in Puerto Rico, or any tropical environment, I suppose:

1. Rocks are slippery when wet. I know it’s obvious, but for some reason one seems to forget. You end up trying to step on that rock and wooosh… ass is wet and sore. (I speak from LOADS of experience!)

2. Sometimes it’s better on all fours. Yup, if you feel like exploring the river, at some point, it will be wiser to get down on all fours and “embrace the river” as a friend says, in order to keep going further. When you feel like stepping on that questionable rock, that’s probably when you should be on all fours.

3. Steer clear of stuck or bubbly water. Some spots in the river don’t flow as well as others. The water gets stuck between the rocks creating mini dams. If the water stays there for long, it starts to bubble. Try not to touch it and don’t swim in it. It’s laden with disease… sick water. If you do touch it, don’t freak out. Just wash your hands with clean water.

4. Beware of a water rush (Golpes de agua). If you are in the river and there is a sudden increase in dirt, sticks, leaves and such in the water flow, get out and walk to higher ground. It doesn’t have to be raining where you are for a water rush: It’s a big rush of water heading down the river. Somewhere upriver it’s raining and it’s heading in your direction. Water rushes have been known to drown people. It’s strong and fast, so be mindful. You may also hear the water rush in the distance. It makes a very powerful sound. As I said, walk to higher ground (that’s usually to the sides of the river).

5. Keep it clean. Remember that everything that falls on or near the river gets washed into the water and eventually reaches all the way to the sea.

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