Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A little bit of Adventure

We decided to do another Canyoning adventure here in Spain. One of the well know areas for canyoning is to be found  around the town of Alquezar. This is a lime stone area where the forces of nature have formed a number of caves and deep canyons. We had booked a day tour of canyoining (descensos de barrancos) as it is called in Spanish with Buena Adventura. There are many different guides and agencies to choose from in this region.Our group consisted of the guide, us and a French couple. We did the Peonera canyon (there are several differnt ones in this area). The cost was about 45 euros each and the canyoning expirence lasted 6 hours with an additonal 2 hours of transportaion (driving and walk/climbing).

Again canyoining is about climbing down waterfalls by using different techniques such as repelling, jumping, sliding or floating. I must admitt that I again had those butterflies in my stomach. Every canyon is different so each exprience is totally new and you never quite know what you are getting yourself into. 

My heart started beating faster even before we reached the bottom of the canyon which was the starting point. We parked the cars and from the parking lot it was about an hour of hiking/walking to reach the bottom of the canyon.The first half of the path was totally fine but the latter part was extremly steep. The worst part for me was the part where they had put some pegs into the mountain wall to climb down as it was too steep to do any other way ( a litte bit of Via Ferrata as it is called - nothing I ever really wanted to try). At least that took away my worries about the canyoning and the fear of the cold water. 

The few pictures we have here are taken with C's cell phone. The guide had a waterproof camera so hopefully he will send us some more pictures later.

Classic jump. The jumps vary in height. This tour included jumps between 2 and 10 meters. However none of the jumps were compulsory (which I was very grateful for). I did some of the lower jumps. Again it is about so much more than the height. It can be jumps between narrow cliffs, you have to completely trust the guide as you have no idea what lies under the surface. You have to get it right, jump into the defined area and not hesistate. It always looks worse, higher and scarier from above.

This was a really beautiful canyon. The water was shimmering in bluish-greenish. It was just as cold as it was beautiful. Despite wearing wetsuits it was still cold. I even got a pair of wetsuit gloves but as we stopped for lunch break my fingers were still numb and tingling from the cold for a good 20 minutes. Besides the wetsuit and helmet each pair of us also had a water proof bag with some extra dry clothes and a plastic jar containg our lunch. 

The first part of the canyon was very demanding and technical. There was a lot of water and the forces of water are really powerful. You just have to be very careful beacuase you do not want to break or sprain an ankel or something like that. It would be very hard to get out of a region like this if you got severly hurt. 

Despite being careful I got a little bit of an injury this time. I managed to wrench my left shoulder. I was holding on to the rock above me and I must have slipped a little or the water pushed me before I was quite ready to let go. Small detail but it happens so easily. However, I was lucky enough that it did not get quite painful until we reached the lower part of the canyon that was the very last part. I felt pretty much done then. I was tired, angry about the injury. Much shoulder has pretty much healed up now. It feels much better anyway.

Floating is one of my favorite parts. That is the really nice part when you can float on your back, relax and take in the full beauty of the canyon surrounding you. The nature is just amazing. It is very hard to reach these parts unless you do something like this with a guide. Some more pics.

 It can be very narrow passages that you have to get through sometimes.

Dominique and Virgine from Paris, our canoyning partners for the day.

 Following our guide into the water maze of limestone passages.

 Me and the guide. The depth of the water changed all the time. Sometimes you could walk and at suddenly at other parts you had to float or swim.

 Another squeeze through.

 Not daring to do all the jumps I chose to repell instead. This part is actually one of my favorite ones during canyoining.

Lying here waiting for the others while they were doing some jumps trying rest my injured shoulder a bit.

I also included a short movie here below found on Youtube from the Peonera canyon that we did.



Anne-Marie said...

Jag blir nervös bara jag ser dina bilder. :)
Absolut ingenting för mig - hopp, höjder och vatten. Nej tack. Men jag tittar gärna på vad du har gjort och är imponerad.
Tur att du inte skadade dig allvarligt i alla fall.

Ika said...

Ser fantastiskt ut!! Definitivt på min bucket list:)

Desiree said...

Anne-Marie, tack. Det är med blandade känslor jag gör sådant här. Men ibland känns det bra att ändå tänja på sina gränser lite.

Ika, detta borde du absolut testa. :-)
Detta tror jag är något för dig.