Friday 26 December 2014

Canyoning in Spain - A natural water park

We make our way through thin, rocky trails beneath Boixols Canyon. I am cushioned within layers of neoprene and it feels like a furnace beneath the Spanish sun.  Suitably geared up, we’re ready for a day of canyoning with mini waterfall jumps, abseiling and swimming through narrow gorges. 
Canyoning, September 2014
Walking in Neoprene = a personal oven!

I amble along the mountain path, gradually entering the canyon formed by the force of the water's descent. We eventually reach our first jump. The waterfall seemed to fuse itself into distinct threads of watery fabric as I approached, like a loom of liquid silver pouring down between the rocks. 

I try to dispel my nervous energy. The water will catch you. The jump is internalised fear. I begin to picture hitting a rock. Is the water deep enough? What if I jump too awkwardly and I don't clear the water sculpted walls? I've realised I've started thinking too much, creating a mental block and losing my usual happy go lucky confidence. I normally love this, yet I've started to shake. My feet refuse to take the leap. I've watched the pool of water beneath me for far too long.... 
The instructor says kindly that I can climb down. His words stir a inherent stubbornness within me and with a clumsy leap and a squeal I plummet straight down into water. 
I'm the last one to jump (obviously boring the instructor!)
Suitably over my mini-meltdown, I catch onto the thrill of the activity. We descend down the canyon through jumps, swimming through silky chutes of water and falling through mountain fresh air. 

A few hours in, we reach a 15M abseil and an area of the canyon that requires rope led climbing. A cascade of water surges downwards like a steep silver slide. The instructor ties a bright orange rope to a hook on the rock-face and with trepidation and glee, I start to lower myself down. 

Slippery abseiling! 
Faceful of water...
Our final jump is approximately 8 metres. I glance down at the drop and feel a hard knot of fear. Yet I can't help but feel that I love these situations. Enthrallment mixed with fear. A challenge that anyone can overcome. With a final faithful leap, I tumble downwards, plunging into the pool and watching bubbles rise towards the surface. 

Trip Tips 

  • I went with Experiencia en Mutanya.The company is based in Andorra and the cost of 1 days Canyoning with a single hotel transfer was 52 euros or 55 euros, including insurance. 
  • All equipment is provided throughout the activity.
  • I used a waterproof camera (Nikon AW110) for taking pictures. When I didn't take pictures, I stored my camera in the chest zip of my wetsuit. 
  • It is quite a long drive from Andorra (Soldeu) to Boixols Canyon (Spain). The drive is approximately 3 hours. 
  • I did the canyoning as a optional activity. It was part of a longer multi-activity week with Intrepid Travel (AAXS), a link to the trip is:
  • The activity lasted a whole day, including transfers. The changing rooms were a carpark and the toilet was the nearest bush :).
  • If you have any further questions of queries, please feel free to comment here or email me.

No comments:

Post a Comment