After a busy few months in the office, it was time to take a break. The destination: Slovenia…not really a kayaking trip, more of a chill-out holiday, but a bit of paddling was squeezed in on the beautiful Soča River in any case!
And how could it not be?
The hot sun, the fabulous Julian Alps, waterfalls cascading out of the side of mountains, the magical blue waters of the Soča, some classic white water sections…and great beer too…it all makes the Bovec area of Slovenia a top-notch place to paddle!
Now, according to the guidebook, the Soča River ranges from an easy grade 1/2 right up to grade 6; there are certainly a variety of grades to be experienced. However, I paddled grade 2 through to grade 4/5 and, certainly at the levels in late June, I would say that our Slovenian friends may slightly over-egg their grading…but only just…
For example, the grade 4/5 section at the slalom course was more like a solid grade 4 than a 4/5…and the grade 2/3 section shortly prior to that was more like grade 2; it was a bite-sized section certainly no harder than the Ardclach to Logie Bridge section of the Middle Findhorn…although it did have a lovely, yet easily avoided, playhole about half way down!
On this basis, I’d probably guesstimate that, from a Scottish perspective at least, the grades may be a little less than advertsied…but still, it’s an awesome river to run…and caution should still be taken as there are plenty of tricky sections…oh, and the Grade 6 (Siphon Gorge) is most certainly a place to be avoided!
So, on the day trip were myself, my other half Cerian and Iain and Sarah Roe. Iain and Sarah are also from Inverness Canoe Club and as sheer luck would have it, they were spending a week in Bovec as we were passing through; so thanks big time to them both (and their lovely friends) for keeping us company and lending us some gear!
Anyhow…onto the photos…sadly, because only Iain and myself ran the trickier sections, there are no action photos of anything above a grade 2/3 (too busy staying upright!), but the pictures still set the scene!
Oh, and finally, for anyone thinking about a trip to Bovec, Slovenia to paddle on the Soča; a) do it, you know it makes sense, and b) check out this link for some really good info on the river and paddling in the Bovec area: UKRG Soča River Report.