Awhile back I was offered to try out the services of the site Vayable, offering tours around the world by local either professional or amateur guides. All you have to do is type in the place you are visiting and you get a list of fun stuff to do without bothering with maps, plans, guidebooks while getting a tailored trip with fun and exciting itinerary.
I of course immediately had to look up Slovenia and got excited about the kayak adventure on river Sava. Now growing up right next to it, you’d think I’d done this before. Wrong. I was never in kayak, nor never on this beautiful river. Hubby was all up for it as well, so we eagerly awaited Sunday to give it a go.
Now before we get on the kayak let me take a moment and explain, I am not some adrenaline junkie or really big on outdoorsy stuff. I’d like to be, yes, but for me it was always more about books and sitting. But every now and then I like to give it a go, keep my options open.
The deal with Vayable is you book a trip, get your guides’ contacts and personally the two of you arrange the details. We had an awesome guide, Jurij, who has all the licenses, the knowledge and skills to lead you down the river and we were quickly convinced we were in good hands. He got us all dressed up, (I was really not sure should I post the photos of me looking like that – but everything for you) showed us the basics and got us paddling. We were on our way.
A few tries and I got it right, soon we were enjoying the serene beauty of the river, trees surrounding it and mountains in the distance. It was so overwhelmingly pretty it made me kick myself with the paddle for spending sooooo much of my time reading about other people’s adventures instead of having my own. But here I was, paddling away, dipping my fingers in the cool river, enjoying the sun, being completely content. And the thing about the water is how it changes, from slow almost unmoving to the fast unyielding force that has you giving it all you’ve got, forgetting anything about everything and just being in the moment. There is no place for thoughts, troubles or stressing out.
Jurij was a fantastic guide, he kept an eye on us the whole time, gave instructions when needed, made small talk that actually grew into really conversation and after awhile we felt like we have made a new friend. What was great is that he didn’t hover over us but let us have some space to ourselves to enjoy.
Everything on this trip was just incredible, the only mishap to spice it up, was when the two of us managed to crash into a rock that overturned our kayak and we fell into the river. Nothing major, right. Just that kayak fell on top of me, so I was stuck below. And for me it was a panic, do nothing situation. When there is any kind of danger, I freeze like deer caught in the headlights. I do that when the girls are about to fall and it just makes me mad. Well, this time I froze too, just that I was even more shocked I almost couldn’t catch my breath. I am sticking my head up and I am thinking, in those few seconds, this is it. Is this it? Oh, my God, this is so like in the movies! Oh, yeah I’m all about Hollywood, even in the darkest of hours.
Finally Nikica lifts the kayak like nothing happened, we climb back up and finish this great adventure. The rest of the way I thought I’d be scared, and I was, like a little girl, but I was also more aware how ruthless life is, how maybe I was right about reading, ha ha, no just kidding, I loved my dose of adrenaline. It got me hungry for life.
When we safely touched the shore, I was happy to relax but Jurij and Nikica went back in and Nikica got to learn more than just the basics for another half an hour. In the mean time I enjoyed Jurij’s home and great conversation with his girlfriend Zoja. After the guys were done to they made this homemade meal with all the homegrown ingredients. We enjoyed the delicious lunch prepared by Jurij’s parents in the garden of their house, got to know Jurij and Zoja much better and have a leisurely afternoon knowing full well we have earned it.
I must say if all the tailored trips offered by Vayable are like this, then it’s a great way to travel, explore and experience, even if it something you think you know.