Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Corsica Trip with the Kids

Creek boating was born in Corsica, and it remains as THE paddle destination for european kayakers eager to kickstart the season. Since I started kayaking, I have made the pilgrimage to the island several times, and know it as my own backyard. Because of the low volume rivers, Corsica is perfect for youngsters to get their first experiences in creek boating. Without must push in the water it is easy to avoid obstacles, and even if somebody pinned you can normally simply walk or jump to the person! This year Mariann Saether and I took on a road trip with five boys and one girl, all between 15 and 18 years old. Some were more experienced than the others, but everybody managed to push their skills a little step further, whether it was by successfully running a creek without flipping over or dropping a ten meter waterfall for the first time.

We started on some easy whitewater like the Tavigniano gorge, but also ran middle Rizzanese, Restonica and upper Fium Orbo till the end. The kids, as we humorously called them, (sorry kids I know some of you are already 18!), were very exited! And so were we! For some of them was it was the first creaking road trip abroad, and everybody handled it well. In addition to experiencing the rivers of Corsica, we all enjoyed a different culture, beautiful mountains, good local food and very nice old little villages, where the locals even open up the grocery store after closing hours for us to buy dinner!

To see them gradually paddling better and better, letting down the shoulders on the rocky creeks and enjoying the full experience was very rewarding. In a way it felt like we were simply paying some old dues: Ten years ago we were the ones who got told to do dishes after dinner, boof right or left, clean up camp and drop that waterfall.. Their all very talented kayakers and I'm sure we'll hear more about these names in the future! Thanks to Tora Heggem, Halvor Heggem, Sindre Slalien, Damian Bänziger and Tim Fischer for a cool week on Corsican creeks.