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Monday, 14 January 2013

My love story with rafting



This is what I was writing on my first rafting experience in 2009…

In my language, ‘Una’ is synonymous to ‘One’… That’s what I found in Bosnia: one big love for this country, one unexplainable attraction to the beautiful Una River, one craving desire to head back there…
I already miss it!
This year, we’ve decided to tour the Balkans. It was one great desire of mine and this year it finally took shape! One of the highlights of this trip was to be the short stay in Bosnia (near Bihać) and the first rafting experience of my/our life/lives.
My friends and I went rafting on Una River. I will not tell you all about the thrills and joys of rafting (we were all 4 first-timers and we enjoyed every single moment of action and of going down those gorgeous waterfalls, as well as having a great time – and a few cold beers – with our skipper Karlo, who became our friend), I will tell you about the fascinating Una…
Štrbački Buk
At first, she seemed peaceful and then greeted us with a huge waterfall (Štrbački Buk); several smaller – yet dangerous – waterfalls followed… The waters were warm and greener by the minute. As we left the Croatian border and deepened into Bosnia, the water was emerald-like. Mysterious and deep… Underwater plants looked like green lace, it felt like an ancient story. I took a minute to look around: the forests were sturdy, as they seemed to guide and protect Una. She had lent them a little of her mystery. We were surrounded by wild duck – happy to make our acquaintance – and by giant fish, swimming undisturbed.
Her waters were calm now (not a single breath of wind would move them). And as the sun left our sights and the night crawled in, the waters darkened and got cold. Our fascination was still at the highest degree, as we kept paddling and staring at the pink sky. Although hearing stories about the many people she took away through her hidden galleries underground, I never stopped feeling safe. She seemed perfect, flawless.
Gathering our strengths to paddle the final hundreds of meters to the ‘finish line’, I realised I was sad. She had been our companion for the last six hours and I would remember her dearly.
Una seen from Sedra Hotel
In the morning, I woke up with the craving to see her again. I kept staring at her green colour for minutes, behind our hotel …and kept feeling bad for not having taken enough photos or videos of Una…
When our entire trip ended and I was again home, I could not wait to get to the photos showing Una… I was so proud of having been there!
As time went by, I realised that paddling on Una River had been one of the best experiences of my life! I will always remember that day as one of the most beautiful of my life!

I’m heading back for the fourth time to Bosnia, the mystical Una, and my great friends this June. I’m planning to go rafting on three unknown rivers – Vrbas, Drina, and Tara –, all turquoise and excellent for the adventurers within the members of our team. However thrilling these new experiences may be, it is said that One’s first love never dies.

1 comment:

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