What is Canyoning?
Obvious question And I reading a pamphlet pasted inside a cafe near St. Anthony’s Chapel, Calangute
– Europe/America from last 20 years And last 10 years all over the world
– Narrow fresh water rivers from top – bottom avoiding all natural obstacles
– abseil with a rope into waterfalls
– jump from different height into natural pool below
– climb small rocks, under water passages, natural slides etc. etc.
And a thought – joining the sports – new And exciting for sure
I called And few questions from the phone receiver:
1. No scared of height
2. You should not be scared of water
3. You should not be scared of spider
4. Everybody is scared of snakes but you should not be terrified
5. No back-problem, leg problem – in-short – good fitness
6. Swimming if known is good
And Reply- Yes, no scare – no terrified – swimming I know since childhood
finally the day I on-tour towards a new sport. Canyoning – it took time to spell it correctly.
Matthew/Roberto – Canyoning guide And five of us – all tourist but Yes, I – The only Indian with Zero experience driving towards South Goa from Baga – The office location of Canyoning.
Reberto was driving – Matthew was chatting sharing information about the exciting sports. Not very old sport but was first introduced by Manu in India approx. 10 years ago when He visited Goa. for the last 5 years Matthew/Roberto are with him as guides. Manu is a worldwide certified Canyoning professional instructor discovering within Jungles streams/rivers good for Canyoning.
Approx. 90 km journey by jeep towards South Goa we had a stop at Tanishkar’s Spice Farm & Ecological Rest House. The purpose to change our clothes And wear Canyoning equipments/clothes only provided by guides. All other clothes will be left with plantation guys.
Wet suit – to protect from cold-water
Helmet – maybe rocks fall in jungle
Arnes – a belt around to climb
Carabina/Eight And rope And shoes
Nicely checked by two professionals And we towards the jeep towards another destination which is within jungle another 15 minutes drive. Jeep was parked – we inside the real jungle path – naturally made as someone has passed or walked days before. I am sure Canyoning guys the only ones. The path is narrow And walk is long sometimes high ups And sometimes high down – sometimes scary too. Matthew was leading – checking all bushes/tree branches whether any snake on the way or not or resting. About 20-25 mins. of walking – sound of water. Yes, we stop at a stream full of natural flowing water And natural surroundings.
Sauri – The name of the trip.
Philip was waiting – a photographer cum Canyoning guide And Semon – trainee guide.
A small class on top of flowing stream And finally I without an experience displaying bravery skills while abseiling. As Philip was clicking photographs I posed in the middle of abseiling giving flying-kisses towards camera And was warned by Matthew for safety reasons because one of my hand was in the air which is dangerous to do. I learnt the first lesson – not to repeat again. Never ever leave your hands from rope And follow the instructions of guide otherwise danger is not too far. Anything can happen if I fall. Anyways, slowly-n-slowly I succeed. I guess it was 6 meters abseiling while walking 90 degrees on top of rocks with the help of Canyoning rope while the stream is in full flow And rocks slippery. Others did the same And we all following the stream following Matthew/Roberto.
A jump of 3 meters straight into the natural pool down below. I watch And I jump – successfully done. And few swimming skills And another jump of 5 meters – done. There were all together 6 jumps consisting of 5-8 meters. Many times we have to sit down And slide slowly-n-slowly on top of rocks to reach a location which is for jump and not for abseiling And two times abseiling maybe because not good for jumps.
fight your fears i.e., Canyoning – Roberto said.
I guess we did about 1 km of Canyoning consisting of 2 abseiling And 6 jumps And many slides and climbing small rocks, walking within flowing cold water etc. etc. I was shivering though I was wearing wet suit provided by guides – The water was too cold – sunlight was not direct within the jungle. We were deep into the valley – will say – surrounded by Jungle.
Manu – The Boss
Yes, finally we met Manu at the end of 1 km Canyoning – shake-hands. I remember discovery channel And Animal Plant And thought about such persons whom we watch within television only but I today meeting one And i.e., Manu.
Anyways, 3 of us are going back home And others are taking rest and having snacks And again for more difficult Canyoning. I was too tired And for first timers 1 km is enough.
Going back is another challenge as a new path which is steep And very very narrow. I fumble once and had to grab a small tree trunk to save self from falling down – The tree was full of white-ants.
We reach plantation area again. Food was served – buffet system all included into price(Rs. 2950 for Sauri trip) – I was really very very hungry/tired but will say to self – Did I did this in-real? Yes, I did. Why I am asking self a question because believing what I did is unbelievable. And while having food we talk about equipments safety.
All equipments used during Canyoning is purchased from Europe And is CE marked that means a security standard. In India we have ISI mark to explain in simple words what CE means. The rope used during abseiling can lift weight upto 3,000kg – no worries – we are mostly around 50- 75 kg mostly. Additional care is taken for ropes by putting a plastic around where rope meets rocks to protect it from scratches by the rock while abseiling. October/November Canyoning is started within Goa and March it ends And team leaves for Europe.
Other few trips which are medium is known as Biju and The earth And few more medium plus, Hard one, Super Hard one having jumps of 12/15/16/22 meters. And within Karnataka another one where there is 60 meter upscale – Hard plus And within Maharashtra jungle close to Goa a very very hard one.
If you have fears And unable to fight it out do not join Canyoning. If you are stuck within jungle while doing Canyoning because of your fear to get you out of jungle is a trouble for guides And you will be charged extra for that. Before joining please ask yourself whether you can jump from heights/swim/upscale etc. etc. But in-short it is an exciting sport teaching you in practical how to win challenges – how to win self.
Canyoning – Will do again – I said to self – Lets see.