A year in the life of a Marbelli (Week 30)
Canyoning down the Benahavis River – I did it and I’m still alive!
There are two options when deciding to do the River walk, option 1 is to go unaided and tackle the elements by yourself or option 2 is to pay and be guided down the river by two hunky men who gently escort you down the trail whilst recounting all the local history and facts about the area.
Obviously we chose option 2! Team Xtreme are an activity holiday group that organise a host of adventure activities in Andalucía, from Canyoning down rivers to sky diving from 15,000ft as we discovered, so we decided they were more than capable of taking three girls down the trail, plus the instructors looked extremely fit!
We arranged to meet at 8.30 am as apparently it’s the best time to descend without too many other people being around; we were given our wetsuits and helmets and headed up the mountain to where the trail begins.
The nerves started to kick in when the instructor told us we had to jump off a 6-metre rock to get into the river. My extreme fear of heights combined with Hilton’s last words, “Mummy please don’t do it, you’re going to die” didn’t really help but after he allowed me to do a smaller jump and slide into the river, our adventure began.
Although I began with slight trepidation, Jilly and Chess went sauntering off ahead feeling very enthusiastic, although I cant help but feel that Jilly’s look would have been more suited to a building site than a nature walk!
The first part of the trail is the most challenging on your legs. The large slippery rocks interwoven with small mossy pebbles stand in your way, so tricky manoeuvres and stumbling moments were a common occurrence, however the views and beautiful surroundings far surpassed any physically demanding encounters.
To believe that there is such incredible countryside just ten minutes drive from the infamous nightlife of Puerto Banus is unbelievable – please Towie producers never read this blog!
After ten minutes or so of scrambling over the riverbed, we arrived at the heart of the river where the two mountains meet and the water becomes deep enough to swim.
This is the most beautiful part of the route, apparently the flowing river aids swimming, so we were advised to only use our arms and not our legs as the motion of the river helps propel you forwards.
From day to night in the space of a few minutes, we arrived at the only area that is totally covered by both the mountains- little did I know what was about to happen!
This is the moment when my heart fell into my mouth and as my life flashed before my eyes, even Chris’s bad moods seemed a better alternative! Dani (the main instructor) asked me to abseil up a rock (usually its down!), but accidentally forgot to tell me that the only option after climbing up was to jump down from a great height!
Chess on the other hand, after catching a frog in her hands and letting it go without kissing it, decided that before she got her prince she would do more adventurous things with her life, starting with the biggest jump possible on the walk from about 8-9 metres high.
The crowning moment when I realised that we had arrived at the finish line! Triumphant and exhausted but thrilled to have experienced a walk of a lifetime.
I cannot recommend this activity highly enough. Nature, beauty and an experience you will never forget. Team Xtreme were fantastic and deserve all the credit for their patience, professionalism and good looks! Thanks guys
Anyway, bye for now and see you next week.
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P.S. The ultimate highlight of our trip was when I asked Jilly if she would do it again – I think her face speaks for itself!