Summer fun time: rafting on Tara river

One of the best experiences of this year’s summer holiday to Montenegro has definitely been the rafting day spent on the Tara river with the amazing people from raftingmontenegro.com.

We started the day by driving 70 kilometers through the magical realm that Durmitor National Park is ( narrow, perfect road) from Zabljak, our base camp, to Scepan Polje, the headquarters of the crazy bunch that run the show down Tara.

On our way we kept being surprised by the beauty of… well, everything we saw.

Durmitor park with its mountains, the beautiful Prutas we had climbed only one day before, the mesmerizing blue of the Piva lake ( actually a water reservoir).

Piva lake

Piva lake

We reached the camp site at around 10:00 and were invited to join them for breakfast and a steaming mug of fresh coffee. After the breakfast we had a chance to look around, and, more importantly, to convince two of our most reluctant friends to join us.

Team now in full numbers, we could have our own boat and the fun was ensured, especially since two of our people were terribly afraid of water.

After picking up our gear(helmets, life jackets, water shoes, neoprene suits for those who feared the cold) we were taken to the cars that already had the boats on the roof and our driver took us to the departure point, some 30 Km away from the Waterfall rafting center.

1

At the destination the boats were taken down from the cars, we’ve met our “captain” and we went down the river. Oh, the river was assumedly one meter deep, in fact some 15 meters in some tranquil places and a couple of meters in the areas with rapids and waterfalls.

For the first time in a rowing boat, never having rowed before and with two people scared to death, chaos ensued to my great delight.

Our captain tested us and decided, probably, that we were the worst team ever to have rowed down Tara.

2

Our unsynchronized rowing was causing us to drift aimlessly or, at best, row upstream.  Want to see the face of true despair and doom? This is it, once our guide saw us rowing:

That's when we knew we were doomed

That’s when we knew we were doomed

We knew things were serious when he lit a cigarette and told us to calm down and listen to him. ( in the meantime, a lot more normal boats and crews were rowing calmly trying to avoid our chaotically spinning in the middle of the river).

After we calmed down enough to listen to him and try to think at what we were doing, some people were found inapt for paddling and others got a paddle instead. I got a paddle and a good place to row with that occasion, yey!

Down we went afterwards, through calm waters, not knowing how our fragile balance will hold in the approaching rapids and waterfalls. When they did come, we behaved admirably, or at least this is how I remember it…

The films taken with the GoPro mounted on my helmet might tell a different story involving screams and hysterical laughter, but that material needs to be edited and will not be available too soon.

We rowed down Tara which is a combination of slow water and rapids for about 4 hours, with two stops, actually three for us since our guide took us to a hidden waterfall. They say the level of water was extremely small, but in the deep areas the water seemed to have been at least 15 meters high, crystal clear and in gorgeous hues of green or blue.

the team

Needless to say, we were soaking wet because our lovely captain had taken great care in making sure we were approaching the rapids the worst possible way, that makes sure everyone gets soaked.

It is a mystery to me how he kept having dry cigarettes while we were all soaking wet and loving it. Meanwhile, my camera was stored in a dry bag tied to my leg and our feet were tightly secured under ropes on the boat’s bottom.

I did not get a chance to use the camera much, as it needed to stay dry, but we shot a lot of films that will find their way to a movie describing the whole holiday, sometimes this winter.

To describe it shortly, we rowed, we laughed, we laughed some more, we rowed some more, we sang happy birthday to Mada ( who is terribly afraid of water but got a rafting trip as a birthday present because that’s the kind of friends we are), we chased other boats in order to be the first and surely made a memorable impression to our captain who was kind enough to play along with our madness, and sadistic enough to make sure we took every descent through rapids the wrong, water splashing way.

The fun ended too fast once we arrived the embarking point where our drivers waited for us with their waterproof now cars since we were soaking. It started raining badly the second we got into our cars but it hardly mattered, we were as wet as we could get.

fin

Back at the Waterfall center we changed and enjoyed a lovely meal: hot soup and fried trout from the river. We said our goodbyes with sadness to our new friends and drove homo, to Zabljak, through the same perfect landscape, now with clouds meant to add some drama to the scenery.

Durmitor after the rain

Durmitor after the rain

Everyone loved the experience, even the ones that started the day scared to death and now we can hardly wait for the next time.

I wholeheartedly recommend raftingmontenegro.com for your rafting experience, they are the best and their offers are not at all expensive. Our experience cost us only 40 euros each, meals included and was great, from the fast booking process to the rafting trip, the meals and the friendly faces we encountered everywhere.

You can find them here: http://www.raftingmontenegro.com/ . If you decide to go on an adventure with them please come back and tell me how it’s been, I already plan on going back in the spring when the water is bigger and so is the fun.

monkey business

Albums,  a short movie and more stories of a great summer holiday will follow. Stay around and always remember that limits, especially those in your minds, exist for breaking and the feeling of going beyond everything you know is simply amazing.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: