A small country with a big attitude and aptitude for its outdoors is Slovenia.
It was part of the former Yugoslavia and is neatly packed in between the much larger countries of Austria, Italy and Croatia.
But that does not stop these sporty people to getting out and using the great assets of their delightful country to maximum effect.
There is one perfect way to illustrate this with their whitewater rafting on the River Soča in the Julian Alps using the charming small town of Bovec as a base.
The unique bluish green river Soča makes the perfect vehicle for an exciting and thrilling rush down the river.
Although we had a thunderstorm and torrential rain the night thus putting the river in full spate but we were in as much rush as the river was to get going and we did!
WHITE-WATER RAFTING ON THE RIVER SOCA
Under the expert guidance of Betty from Sportmix our party almost hit the river running as we slipped and slid down the steep path but once settled into our paddling positions there was no holding us back or in fact the infectious Betty who was determined that we were going to have a great time on the river even if it was in flood.
Although a first time together team Betty soon had us paddling mostly in unison and the first rapids were on us almost at once. That theme continued on and off for the remainder of the trip, with periods of gentle calm followed by frantic paddling as the giant boulders were forming breaking waves that crashed over and sometimes into the raft.
Cheering and laughing as the water filled the raft but it is designed to cleverly drain the contents back into the river as you continue down.
A brief stop at a tiny waterfall provided a team photo op but to ensure we got thougherly soaked the smiling and mischievous Betty made us swim back to the raft as she deftly pulled us in like life-jacketed seals one at a time!
One other respite in our paddling was when we passed the giant waterfall of Boka that emerges from a sheer limestone cliff, which drops its water 106 metres to the canyon below hitting the Soča River with some force as it joins it.
Our raft ride ended not long after and saying goodbye not just Betty but the river Soča as it had been an experience to remember for all of us. Also to Slovenia who’s tourism department had hosted our trip this mountainous and amazingly beautiful country.
Small it may be but it will sweep you off your feet just as the River Soča did on our ride on its near turquois rollers as we coasted down just 13 beautiful kilometres of it.