Canyoning in Calabria: Breathtaking and Addictive!

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Extreme sports have never been my cup of tea. But after the Blog Trip Adventure Calabria I am hooked. Canyoning is my new passion!

Canyoning, or canyoneering as it is known in the USA, is all about following the course of a stream, walking, down-climbing, swimming, jumping in gorges and canyons. For those with less experience it may also mean a lot of sliding on the bum!

gorges

Photo by Flavio Alagia

Our canyoning adventure in the Raganello Gorges Nature Reserve started with squeezing into very unbecoming wetsuits, putting on helmets and some climbing hardwear. It certainly got me worrying: am I fit enough to do this? But the moment I stepped into the cold water surrounded by the noise of the rushing Raganello river I forgot my worries and just went with the flow. Our guides Roberto and Mara looked calm and were sure we could do it. In case of an emergency, I thought, Roberto would know what to do as he is an excellent guide trained in first aid and mountain rescue.
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Our guide Roberto 

We concentrated on not falling flat on the face, not hitting the knees with the underwater rocks, and some of us had to descend on the derrière instead of jumping gazelle-like from one rock to another as Mara and Roberto did. I scratched my elbows and a knee trying to grab a vertical wall being too scared to drop down on the rope as the guides suggested. We shivered with cold when the sun hid behind the clouds. To stay warm I kept jumping up and down throwing my arms in the air to everyone’s amusement.

gorges1

Photo by Flavio Alagia

One little waterfall turned out to be especially evil and difficult to jump. I ended up with water in my ears and mouth, disorientated and blind, but only for a few seconds. In some place passages between rocks were so narrow that we had to dive to get through.

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This is me wondering if I will survive!

We kept going, crawling, sliding, swimming between the sheer rocky walls of the Raganello that in some places are over a hundred meters high. Our guide Roberto, who is also a geologist, told us that these rocks were 65 million years old and showed shell and coral fossils that saw the start of this spectacular gorge formation.

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I survived and want more!

After 4 hours we reached our destination, the spectacular Devil’s bridge, all soaked, tired but happy. All I wanted at that moment was a hot shower and … more canyoning!

For canyoning trips in the Raganello Gorges call Roberto at 0039 3471776569. For off-road tours call Raganello Tour at 0039 3409096436.

 

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