Thrilling, exciting, wet and wild, these are only a few of words that can describe my first rafting adventure experience. It’s a great activity that will pump your adrenaline levels and may even sharpen your basic survival instincts. Most of all it is a lot of fun, especially so when you are surrounded by friends.
The Struma River rises from the Vitosha Mountain before heading to the South-Western part of Bulgaria and until it eventually concludes its journey by flowing in the Aegean Sea. On its way to Greece and whilst passing through the Kresna Gorge, the water races violently, whilst crushing in the sharp boulders. Taming Struma can be a challenge even for an experienced guide as the activity itself is rated Class 3 and 5. Class 3 is a reference to small waves, but may require significant manoeuvring, whereas class 5 as you can guess includes large waves, possibility of large boulders, hazards and requires precise manoeuvring and full mastery of the rafting sport. However, worry not as the experienced guides will be able to help should you find yourself in a perilous situation.
The starting point was at the Adventure Net rafting camp, located around 120kms away from the capital Sofia and only 29kms from Blagoevgrad and alongside the main E-79 road towards Greece. The experience itself lasts around 3 hours, which includes an hour of safety briefing and the route is around 12kms long. The pleasure costs only 50 BGN or around 25 EURO/25 GBP and it was well worth it.
The route passes through a point where a fierce earthquake of the last century split the ground creating a huge hole where the river disappeared for a certain period of time. To be precise the earthquake occurred on April 4th 1904 and is the second most powerful one in the world recorded that year with a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter Scale. The legend says that a few divers disappeared whilst exploring the hole years later and were most likely eaten by giant spring water catfish. One can choose to believe this or not, but in all cases do keep your lifejacket on!