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October 30th, Tuesday (Part I)

As we had arrived late last night and could not go find a suitable camp site, we had slept right where we had offloaded the boats and hence many of us did not spend a very comfortable night sleeping on pebble rocks and therefore did not find it difficult to get up at the usual 06.00 a.m. wake-up call.

After coffee and short breakfast, we set up the boats, loaded them and then started driving upriver, towards the infamous and impassable gorge we had been told about. We passed a few rapids with fully loaded boats and without major problems and, finding ourselves in wonderfully pristine nature, all felt that this magnificent experience was well worth the efforts of yesterday. After about an hour (20 kms), we reached the “Castle of Beino”, a short stretch of river completely closed in by rock walls 10 meters high on either side. It was even possible to circumnavigate one of the free standing towers.

The water rushing down this river at high water levels had polished and sculpted the rock walls to such effect that one could indeed get the impression of being in a castle. We stopped and climbed on top of the tallest wall from where Zorba abseiled directly into the water below. Leaving this magnificent area, we continued further upstream and soon met with rapids which were far more impressive than those we had mastered before. With fully loaded boats, we made the first rapid, only to face even more impressive rapids immediately afterwards. While Andy made it through the rapids without much difficulty, Armin had to abandon his first attempt when the engine (its propeller being damaged hitting rocks during earlier days) overheated.

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