Bovec is the adventure sports capital of Slovenia, with ziplining and whitewater rafting being the mainstay of the town. Running through the town is the Soca River, which has to be the most jaw-droppingly beautiful colour I have ever seen. I can’t tell you how many times over the next few days, I stopped the car to take “just one more” photo. It is like a cloudy turquoise colour that almost glows through the trees when you are driving past. And we got to white water raft on it!
Our campsite had recommended the agency Sportmix to do our whitewater rafting with, so we wandered through the picturesque village of Bovec to their offices. We were greeted by big smiles and the most friendly and accommodating staff. Could we do a raft trip today still? Yes, of course, not a problem!
We had missed their scheduled daily river trips and it was only Tai and me wanting to go, so they suggested we use a “mini-raft”. Just Tai, myself and the guide, for maximum bounce in the rapids. What fun!
At the office, we were provided with wetsuits, booties, helmets and lifejackets. Then a short drive upriver to the starting point, where we were given a safety brief. What the guides instructions would be, how to hold the paddles and what to do if we fell out – heaven forbid!
And then we were off! Fabulous Hungarian Sebastian, from Sportmix, guided us in the “mini-raft”, just big enough for the three of us. As Tai put it, “it was the best ride of my life!”.
There were lots of rapids where we had to paddle hard, but also times to just relax and enjoy the magnificence of where we were. Surrounded by the snow-capped Julian Alps with, as Ernest Hemingway described it, the “blue as the sky” river. Even the rain was fabulous, creating a misty layer on the water.
Sebastian taught us a few rowing tricks – how to get to the other side of the river without going downstream was cool! He even let Tai be the captain and steer the raft through some rapids.
There were two places where you could jump into the river from high up on rocks. I love jumping off rocks but it was raining and the water was about 8 degrees, and even with a wetsuit I knew it would be freezing, so I left the thrills to Tai, who gamely did the jump twice. Although we did have to throw a few Euro’s his way for completing the second jump!
We were on the river for 1.5hrs and loved every second of it!
Back at Sportmix’s office, we got big steaming mugs of tea to warm us up and Tai was gifted with a branded helmet and he promised to wear it every day!