Canyoning in Susec, Slovenia
We hadn’t heard of canyoning until we arrived in Slovenia for two days of action and adventure. Our little man was with the Klugs, in Austria, and – being on a kid-free trip – we planned to make the most of the time that we had. There are a few things that we can’t do with a toddler in tow, and almost all water sports are included in that category.
We arrived at Soča Rafting early in the morning, and got ready to join our team for a morning of hiking and zip-lining. You can check out that adventure HERE. After the zip-lining we returned to the main office to get prepped for the canyoning. Justin had pre-booked these activities for us, and I have to admit I was a little apprehensive about the sound of this second one. If anyone is a daredevil… I am! But since becoming a mother I tend to care a little more about safety. Either that or I’m getting old!
So what is Canyoning? And why did the sound of it make me nervous?
Canyoning (also know as “Gorge walking”) is a sport that mixes adrenaline and natural beauty in equal measure. It involves trekking through gorges, waterfalls and giant rock pools. Canyoners navigate their way down water filled gorges by swimming through rock pools, sliding down chutes and clambering over the rocks and other unique features of the canyon landscape. This action-packed adventure combines elements from different outdoor disciplines including scrambling, abseiling, cliff jumping and swimming and requires local knowledge and rope rigging skills to be done safely.
To sum it up in a picture, this is what we were about to do…
OH MY HECK!
Yes – That is me! I didn’t chicken out! haha
We sat down at a table just outside the main office and had some lunch. There were many groups of people, all were waiting for equipments and instructions. As people left, more would arrive. There seemed to be a constant flow of people. We knew that the rest of our group must have been around there somewhere, but we were told to wait… so we did.
Eventually, a guide came over to us and gave us some safety information and then told us to go and get our equipment. We needed a helmet, a wetsuit and jacket, rubber shoes, and a harness. It was then that it dawned on us that we were the only ones getting equipment handed to us. We asked where our group was, and that was when we found out that IT WAS ONLY US! For some reason this made me even more nervous. There is something reassuring about a group. You get to watch others jump first, and of course, there’s the
pressure comfort of knowing that you can’t chicken out with others behind you.
But suddenly… It was just us and the guide!
Canyoning is usually done in remote and mountainous areas where water has cut unusual patterns and shapes through the rock. While there are some fairly technical canyoning trips around, most focus on fun and beautiful locations with plenty of big jumps and natural water slides that are accessible to all.
Once we got to the location, Bovec, we climbed out of the van and the guide told us how to carry our equipment. We had to place everything into the wetsuit, and then place it onto our backs. By then we had already realized that our guide was not the “chattiest” of guys, so if anyone was going to talking… it was going to be the two of us. His responses were short and blunt, and this didn’t really help with the butterflies that were accumulating in our bellies!
We then started our 20 minute hike, up an incredibly steep and rocky path. It wasn’t long before we realized why we were carrying the wetsuits on our back, and not wearing them. There was sweat dripping from every pore, and I imagine we would have fainted before reaching the starting point if we had worn those suits.
We passed a family who had their suits on, and they looked like they were not going to make it. Poor buggers!
Our guide wasn’t into chit-chat, but at least he knew what he was going.
We eventually – sweating and out of breath – reached a turquoise pool of water at the top of a massive waterfall. Our guide showed us how to wet the suits and get them onto our bodies. Trying to get fat rolls and cellulite into these skin tight suits definitely didn’t go down as one of our sexiest moments…. hahaha, round about then I was making a mental note of how happy I was that we were alone on this adventure.
Once we were all suited-up, the REAL FUN BEGAN!
Our guide led us along rivers, through gorges, into dark tunnels, and down waterfalls. We slid down chutes – sometimes even backwards and head first – and big waterfalls where we couldn’t see the pools beneath us!! All the while, we could not stop laughing and smiling. We were both having the time of our lives, and it felt like we were on some sort of private adventure honeymoon!
There were a number of times where the guide would show us what to do, and I’d make Justin go first. Then I’d sit at the top of the waterfall or chute, and try to convince myself to go. “One two…. ahhh NO! Come on Catherine. You can do this… One two…. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh” *Head under water* Every single time I came out of the water, I couldn’t stop grinning.
It was SUCH AN ADRENALINE RUSH!
Have you been Canyoning yet?
We highly recommend an activity like this – We had a ball!