We used our stay at Lake Bled as a starting point for lots of different adventures. One of the best was easily the Great Emerald Adventure, which is run by a company in Lake Bled called Life Adventures. This was a whole day trip and involved a morning of canyoning down the famous Soča River and an afternoon of white water rafting in the Fratarica Canyon.
After meeting at their building in Lake Bled, the small group of eight of us were taken for an amazing scenic drive through Triglav National Park via Kranjska Gora and Predel mountain pass (which is 1156 m high) to Log pod Mangartom village where we would start our canyoning adventure.
We walked for about 30 minutes up the side of the mountain before stopping to pull our wetsuits up and set off down the canyon! We each had a wetsuit, special canyoning boots and a climbing harness. As a group, we also had two wet bags with a climbing rope in each.
Our guide was awesome and he taught us lots as he took us down the canyon. There were different obstacles to overcome throughout the three hours. The Fratarica Canyon is described as being an intermediate difficulty and I thought it was a great place for anyone with an adventurous spirit to have a go at canyoning.
We could scramble down the canyon, slide down waterfalls, jump down into plunge pools, abseil down waterfalls and even zipline down the canyon. One of my favourite parts of the morning was the photo above, which was to jump through a hole in the roof of a sort of cave into a plunge pool. It was really exciting as you had to jump quite accurately down the hole so that you didn’t strike the sides.
At one large waterfall, our guide rigged up a sort of drop-zipline. We would stand on the edge of the waterfall where we would then drop from before being caught by the rope and slid down the rest. It was really exhilarating and very, very fun!
The group of eight of us really got on well and it was nice to meet like-minded people who were from all manner of different countries and backgrounds. One of the things I enjoy about travelling is meeting different characters who you’d never normally meet, either at the hostels or when taking part in activities.
One of the final and easily the most exciting sections of the canyoning experience was an abseil down a waterfall. After hours in the canyons, we had tackled several waterfall abseils but this one was quite different. Why? Well, because the waterfall in question was 50 metres in height!
The waterfall was crazy high and to be honest pretty scary. Our guide was really great and if you hadn’t been up for it there was a way down without abseiling but the good moral of our group and the advice from our guide got everyone down. It was an absolutely awesome thing to have done and abseiling down a waterfall is a sure fire way to make yourself feel like some sort of action hero!
After a short walk back out of the forest, we took off all of our gear and boarded the bus. We were then driven to the town of Bovec where we met the white water rafting guides. They then took us on to the Trenta valley where the famous Great Soča Gorges are – the perfect place to go white water rafting!
The Soča River is levelled at a III-IV so is quite an exciting place to go white water rafting. We met a few new people who had joined the group and just wanted to do this specific and not take on the morning’s canyoning.
Our guide was really good and taught us the skills we needed quickly. As there was quite a high chance of falling out during sections of rapids, we all had to practice falling overboard and then learn how to navigate down the river in the water before climbing back into the boat.
White water rafting was very much a group effort and required really good teamwork. We practised working as a group, steering left and right. Our guide was at the rear of the boat and was directing us as well as giving out words of advice and instructions.
Luckily, just as we had finished practising steering as a team as well as how to overcome challenges (like a stuck boat), the river picked up speed and the rapids came into view!
Navigating the boat down the rapids was so much fun and was really exciting. There were quite a few times when I felt like we were going to get flung into the water and we had to use straps on the floor of the boat to keep ourselves in place.
I really, really enjoyed white water rafting and am dead keen to go back during the wetter months when the rivers are even more full and the rafting is even more extreme!
After we had finished our Great Emerald Adventure, we drove back to Lake Bled via the Vršič mountain pass (which at 1611 m is the highest mountain pass in Slovenia) and back to Bled via Kranjska Gora. A beautifully scenic drive with a few stops to enjoy the views and the perfect way to end such an epic day.
We had a great day on the Great Emerald Adventure. All of the people at Life Adventures were brilliant, they were very organised, funny and great at teaching you all the skills you needed to take part in their epic adventure.