In exciting waters

In exciting waters

MELİH USLU
In exciting waters

Rafting could be defined as a cross-country water sport done in specially designed inflatable boats on rivers of sufficient flow. If you want to experience thrill-packed moments in the heart of nature, this sport is just for you. Here are a few tips about the fine points of the sport and the best rivers for rafting.

As you navigate white waters in a raft, you will glide through valleys and canyons and encounter the occasional sharp turn. You will commune with nature in every moment and experience an adrenaline rush. As the white water races by beneath you at top speed, the only thing you have to do is keep your raft upright and enjoy to the hilt this fun sport that will fill your body with energy. Every healthy person who can take the excitement can participate in rafting, a sport that requires no special expertise or physical conditioning. Turkey offers a large number of alternatives for rafting, one of adventure tourism’s most rapidly developing nature sports in recent years. And spring is the best time for this exciting sport in the country’s rivers, which are suitable for rafting 12 months of the year due to their ideal currents and flow.

Things to watch out for

Since there is always a possibility of tumbling into icy river waters, it is a good idea to wear waterproof shoes and clothing. On difficult rivers, a helmet and other gear are a must to keep out wind and water and keep you warm even when wet. Even though the chance of a rafting boat capsizing is very small, the first thing to do if you do fall into the water is not panic. Next is to stay afloat and try to indicate your location by holding your arms or your paddle in the air. If your boat is nearby, you can reach out with your paddle and help your team leader pull you back in. If you have drifted away from the boat, extend your legs in the direction of the current and try to maintain your balance with your arms. That way you will be able to see in front of you while at the same time protecting your head against possible rocks. Team leaders and guides are responsible for every phase of the rafting trip from organizing transportation and supplying gear to river safety and division of labor.

Rafting operators are people who have been specially trained in skills such as leading boats and groups, making and implementing decisions, rescue, first aid, maintenance, repair and river readings and who have experience under all kinds of river conditions. The briefing rafters are given before a trip include such things as paddling techniques, assessing river risk, commands, principles of swimming and the importance of team spirit. Yes, we have provided you with sufficient information. We are now ready for rafting. Here are the tracks:

Köprülü Canyon in Antalya

The track located near Beşkonak at 55 km distance from Antalya, is especially recommended for beginner-level rafting. The 12-kilometer-long track is completed in two stages. At the end of the first stage, lunch and rest breaks are given on the river bank. The hard turns elevate the excitement on the track that usually offers simple safe crossings. The water of Köprüçay is clean and cool. Even in the hottest summer days, the water temperature remains below 15 degrees. There are historical artifacts near the track located within the boundaries of Köprülü Canyon National Park. The 27-metre-high Roman period bridge Oluk Köprü at the entrance of the canyon and Selge Ancient City are some of those.

Çoruh River in Artvin

The Çoruh River, shown among one of the best rafting tracks in the world, springs from the Mescit Mountains at the north of Erzurum Plain and pours into the Black Sea after flowing for 376 kilometers. The difficulty level of the rafting track in the region is high. Camping programs are recommended and are available to complete the tour. The track that requires experience and safety system offers narrow passages and obstacles which can be passed with strong maneuverers. The river flows strongly in rough terrain. At some points, deep valleys and rock corridors, where even the daylight enters with difficulty, are passed. In these areas where terrain gets fairly rough, one can come across five-meter-high waves and harsh crosscurrents.

Melen Creek in Düzce

Located on the border of Düzce’s Cumayeri district, Melen rises near the village of Dokuzdeğirmen. The Melen Creek track raises the adrenaline levels of participants with sharp turns and rapid waterfalls at places. The trail, about 10 kilometers long, is completed in nearly two hours, bending among forested slopes. The rafting point known for its proximity to Istanbul and Ankara is especially preferred for one-day excursions on weekends. The high flow seen in spring is suitable for river cross with specially designed inflatable boats. In Melen, you may experience exciting moments in nature’s embrace with lush green forests, oxygen-rich highlands and splendid waterfalls.

Kemaliye Valley in Erzincan

The length of the track on Karasu River near Kemaliye district of Erzincan reaches up to 30 kilometers. Dark Canyon is the most popular place for river rafting with its strong stream. The canyon formed by gigantic rock walls reaching a height of several hundred meters, fairly narrows down at some points and offers enjoyable landscapes for rafters. The forested banks of the river can be pleasant camp grounds for rafting enthusiasts. Kemaliye Valley, surrounded by mountains reaching up to an altitude of 4,000 meters, offers pleasant moments in the nature with rare plant and animal species. Kemaliye also hosts a nature sports festival in the spring months that also includes rafting.

rafting, water, river