We LOVE canyoning!! You might remember us jumping into the ice cold waters of The Lake District and the stunning River Esk in April last year, or what about one of the highlights of the year when we tackled the extreme Chli Schliere canyon in Switzerland with over 33ft/10m high jumps!! Well we wanted more of that same action and we had heard that Slovenia was the place to get it! With me only being 6 months post knee op but at the same time wanting to push myself to get back to doing the thinks I love, this seemed like the best place to get back in the game! The canyon we did would be a moderate rather than extreme challenge which proved to be great fun and a good confidence booster!
In the days leading up to us heading into the Slovenia Countryside we had stayed in what turns out to be one of our favourite cities: Ljubljana. The sun had been beaming down and the heat rising, it was perfect…too perfect! Upon our arrival in the fairy tale town of Bled the clouds ominously rolled in and the rain began. Not a good sign if you want to get out canyoning as the rivers can swell dangerously high in the steep canyon walls. Things were not looking great, we already had our Emerald River tour and climbing trips cancelled (things we will return to this area to do for sure) and it was looking bleak for canyoning too. We had come here looking for adventures but had ended up stuck inside!
However!! As if my some sort of miracle the clouds parted one day, we had enough time to view the lake from the Castle and see the island is all its glory! But what to do next on such a bright (but frightfully cold) day… canyoning of course! We by chance caught the guy in one of the towns main adventure huts just before he headed off for lunch, we were booked in to be picked up at 2pm! Yes!!
No sooner had be started our lunch boiling away snow flakes began falling from the sky…in MAY! This was pretty much unheard of here, even in a mountain town! We worried our trip would be cancelled or if we did go just how cold we would be!
Well, the guy turned up all cheery and it was time to get brave! We would be jumping into ice cold water in overcast conditions in unseasonable weather! But hey, this is what adventures are made of and this is getting out of your comfort zone! It was also just the 3 of us, we didn’t get charged any extra for this either. This meant it felt so much more like a trip out with a friend rather than an organised tour.
7mm full wetsuits which included hoods, jackets and gloves would keep us warm once we took the initial plunge! I’ve worn plenty of wetsuits over the past few years, but never one this thick! I knew we were in for a real adventure here, once we managed to get the damn things on!!
Despite looking like the 3 least stylish people on the planet we set off for our epic adventure deep in the Triglav national park. The canyon began straight away with the largest jump of the route. Only 4m, which seeing as we jumped 10m last year seemed like a breeze. Only this time the take off was a slippy rock with a waterfall running over it which jutted out below and had to be cleared.
I started to wonder if my months of physio had prepared me for this yet or whether I was about to (literally) jump back in too soon. Well, there is no time like today to see I though, and with that leap forwards and easily cleared the rock below. Splashing into the ice cold waters below my initial elation was taken away alongside my breath with the sheer shock of the temperature. Filled with adrenaline and struggling to catch my breath I swam to the edge of the rock pool…I was back to my old ways and it felt great!
Shorty was next to take the plunge and again he jumped without hesitation, it gives you so much satisfaction to be able to just go first time on these jumps that a few years ago we might have had to build ourselves up to. I laugh a little seeing the water shock him as much as it had done me! The rest of the canyon awaited us and we were not surrounded by 50ft high walls with no other possible exit!
With our thick wetsuits we soon acclimatised to the 5c waters, swimming around the deep rock pools, flying down impressive natural waterslides, leaping off cliffs and tackling the varied course. This might not have had the extreme factor we faced in Switzerland but it sure did ramp up the element of fun and that was exactly what we needed!
Here we ziplined across the walls of the canyon as the river widened, flying over the trees and raging water below! There were tight slides that took us into the bowels of the rocks, though caves carved by the relentless river that shot us out back into the now emerging sunlight.
What this canyon lacked in high jumps it made up for in impressive abseils. The variety here was such a fun element of our exploration of this canyon, from 50 ft high rappels down cascading waterfalls to steep slides which combined abseiling with a free fall at the end!
A great adventure in a wonderful place
What we really loved about this trip was the variety of obstacles along the way, the route combines all elements of canyoning and even some we hadn’t tried before. But overall being a moderate canyon it was just great fun, the real challenge came in both the temperatures we faced and me overcoming my nerves about my knee rather than the canyon itself. It really set us up nicely to search out some more extreme canyons as we continue our long term travels and also allowed us to see up close the amazing natural beauty that Slovenia has to offer. It really amazes me ever time I step into a canyon just how powerful nature us to create such masterpieces, and with such clear water there is no denying this is a wonderful place to enjoy an adventure!
What made the day even more special was afterwards. Sasha who took us out on the trip is actually the owner of the adventure company we went with. In the summer he is often too snowed under with paper work and organisation that he misses going on the trips himself.
He took this opportunity to head out and get into the canyon himself and we ended up having a really cool chat with him along the way. After the canyon we all headed out for a beer and pizza at a local place and he even drove us by Bohinj lake to let us see this stunning glacial lake.
How to get on this adventure yourself!
We went with a company called Outdoor Slovenia.
They are one of the best in the country and definitely the guys to contact in Bled. When others let us down these guys stepped up and made sure we had an adventure to remember. They are safe and knowledgable but also just fun guys too with years of experience.
Slovenia isn’t just all about crazy adventure sports though, there is plenty of opportunity to kick back and relax in the amazing scenery!
The trip is a half day excursion and costs 55 Euros each. You can also even have the adventure photographed too.
Check out our video here:
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