It seems Slovenia is just as lovely as it was two years ago. So I probably don't need to repeat all the waffle about how beautiful and chilled out it is...
One definite improvement on last time is the fact that I did not capsize all week - compared to 5 swims in 2010. Partly this may be due to me now having a fatass boat (which is awesome, I love it), but mostly I would like to think it's because I've actually got better at paddling.
somewhere under the mist is the first rapid of Srpenica 2
The first couple of days were really misty. Not being able to see what's coming up makes me nervous, so a couple of sections were wussed out of (boily high Srpenica 2, and the Koritnica which we ran again later in the week anyway, so I really only missed one bit)
On day 3 the sun came out. Suddenly everything got even more pretty, and we all got our shorty cags out A small amount of carnage occured in 'carnage canyon', but nowhere near as much as last time.
Wednesday's "rest day" involved paddling for some, hiking up the pointy steep mountain for others, and a walk around the Tolmin Gorges for me - followed by sussing out the end of the final section of the Soča, and walking to see Slap Kozjak.
Jen and Noreen spotting lines down the little drop
On Thursday we paddled the Koritnica. I stuck my fingers up at my 'rock of indecision' as I paddled safely past it this time, haha. Such a lovely little bit of river!
Friday, our last day paddling - the section of the Soca below syphon canyon. aka "grade 5 walk in" (long steep zig-zag path down a cliff. my gps tracker went mental and got confused). I'd avoided this bit last time as it was the day we went to the caves. Guide says grade II/IV, which in the absense of anyone remembering details, we decided meant mostly 2, but with the 4 at the start which you could put on below.
Turns out, not so much! It's rarely a good sign to get to the river to find another group waiting for medics/rescue teams to get a broken person out They suggested we might not want to paddle the first bit as it was "manky" (massive syphon you could see from halfway down the walk in...), so we walked our boats down the river for a couple of hundred metres. Looked at what was coming up, and whilst there was a fairly obvious line, I was a bit exhausted and could only see rock after rock after rock. I knew there was no way I'd get down it without cocking up, and no-one could say how much more 'hard' stuff there was before it dropped down to grade 2... so I walked back out.
If we're calling the walk in 'grade 5', then going back up must be 5+ at least - as you have the added problem of having to stop constantly to let people past, and answer all their questions about why the hell you're going the wrong way...
Turns out I probably made the right call though, as the river didn't get any easier until the very last bit! Not really one for the last day of a trip... ah well, lesson learnt!
Our final night was marked with a meal out (giant pizza nom nom nom) and a beautiful rainbow outside the apartment window:
A third visit will have to happen at some point. Slovenia is ace