Of all the outdoor adventures I imagined myself having in the alpine wilderness of Slovenia, flinging myself down a rock cliff into icy water was not one of them. But, as travelling has taught me time and time again, it’s often the adventures you least expect that deliver the biggest thrills.
The conscious effort needed to step off the edge worried me the most when considering if I should go canyoning. History has shown my incredible inability to remain even remotely cool while faced with a dramatic drop, narrow bridge or a steep set of stairs. There was that time I stayed too long at the top of Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia for fear of the steps down…. and that day I endured a pale-faced, shaky descent from the rocky face of Mount Tibrogargan in Australia’s Glasshouse Mountain range. But, as I keep saying to myself in these moments of frustrating weakness: life is about living, learning and challenging yourself. So, with that in mind, I signed up for three hours of canyoning in the crags and crevices of Grmečica, near Bled.
From the cosy 3Glav Adventures office in the centre of Bled, our five-smile group piled into the van with ‘Canyoning Bob’ (who, reassuringly, is the only professional canyoning guide in Bled licensed with the international canyoning association, CIC). Just as during my Emerald River Adventure, I was delighted to drive through honey-drenched light of the Bled area and skirt the towering peaks as we made our way to Grmečica.
The entertaining logistics of pulling on wetsuits and shoes and handling a harness was an adventure in itself, but we had plenty more laughs ahead as we followed a pleasant trail across a suspension bridge, along the creek and into the nearby woodland. Once we’d reached the top of the canyon, Bob strapped us into our helmets and harnesses, demoed some abseiling and safety tips, and off we went.
Although the first backwards step was a little nerve-racking and awkward (limbs flailing, white knuckles gripping), I eventually caught on and found myself becoming bolder in my climbing and abseiling manoeuvres. Then, with a squeal and a leap, I was falling through the mountain-fresh air, plunging into icy water and watching bubbles rise past my face towards the surface of the deep pool. A series of small (and not-so-small) jumps later, I was like a kid after too much red cordial – wired, smiling and ready for more.
Apart from challenging me to do something different, something that faced my fears, canyoning also gave me confidence in my resilience and an refreshed love of outdoor sports. Between the exhilarating jumping , repelling, swimming and scrambling, I had moments of wow as I looked up to admire the pristine beauty.
I only took one photo at the end of our canyoning experience but 3Glav Adventures has this wonderful video showing the real deal in great detail. Definitely worth a squiz!
This post has been kindly sponsored by the thrill-seeking, nature-loving folks at 3glav Adventures in Bled.
A very warm thanks to Domen, Canyoning Bob and the team at 3Glav for hosting me on such an awesome adventure! You can find out more about 3Glav’s Canyoning experiences on their website by following the hyperlink above, or by dropping into their office at Ljubljanska 1, in the centre of Bled, Slovenia.
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