Rafting, Epiphany frozen dip and lots of fun
Although it is winter, the days are sunny and clear, certainly not hot, but this is enough for us to decide to live an experience that will prove spectacular.
6th of January 2020 – Epiphany
The Epiphany day we get up early and I, Francesca, Linda and Thom leave for the Val Di Lima, a wonderful gorge in the heart of Tuscany a few kilometers from Lucca and Monte Pisano.
Stefano is waiting for us at the operational headquarters of his rafting and water sports school, nestled between the Chain Bridge, the river (Serchio) and the mountains the “Aguaraja Canoa and Rafting” in Bagni di Lucca.
At 10.45 we are there and once visited the Chain Bridge and having said hello to Stefano, he provides us with all the material for rafting in January, in total safety and comfort.
Francesca is skeptical, Linda is afraid but I, Thom and Stefano: our instructor and guru of this sport, we are looking forward to jump in the water.
So far, so good….
Once wearing the wetsuit (5 mm thick), the helmet and having taken all the material, we attach the trolley to the van and hoist the dinghy there, ready to go !!
Thom follows us in his car and leaves it on arrival, so that Stefano can go back to retrieve the van once the descent between the rapids and the waterfalls is over.
Leaving Thom’s car, we arrive with the van at the beginning of the route on the Lima River. At this point we are all euphoric and Stefano must contain our enthusiasm to be able to explain the rules of river navigation, the safety procedures and everything we need to know before launching ourselves down the river on the boat.
Just to be clear: Rafting is about to raft! (Stefano is keen to clarify this point, in order to clarify what we are embarking on).
Ok here we are! Let’s go …
The dinghy is in the water, we know the rules and the paddle test has been done successfully!
The fun begins and we immediately run into the first rapid.
The dinghy slides on the water and the current greatly helps us to make the dinghy speed up.
Stefano from behind helms and leads the dinghy in the right direction, not without some clash or encounter with some stone. The emotions are many, we see crazy views, we are in the middle of nature even if a few meters away there is the road and consequently civilization. After a while we are one with the boat and begin (or so it seems to us) to row in sync, stopping occasionally on a boulder or crashing on the shore. which is still part of the game.
At some point we stop, docking on a bank and a spectacular waterfall appears from behind the rocks! Stefano tells us that we can go underneath but we don’t have enough courage. Selfie of order and then the magic moment: “Do you guys want to swim in the river?” (It is not cold cit).
Thom and I don’t hesitate for a moment and say YES!. Francesca shakes her head and Linda doesn’t express herself. Okay, we’ll sacrifice myself and Thom.
We throw ourselves and the water is objectively not so cold, it will be the wetsuit, the emotion or something else but it feels really good.
Me and Thom let ourselves be carried a few meters and then (not without some slips), we go back on board of the boat where our girls are waiting for us quite stunned).
We start again and conclude the last kilometer by discovering the “Masso del’Orso” or “Bear’s stone”, where in summer you can dive and the “slide”, the last really exciting rapid obtained from an artificial barrier.
We have arrived! Thom’s car appears on the horizon. Francesca does not hold back the joy and hit Tho with oar in the ribs, taken by the enthusiasm and anticipating the warmth of the heating. Linda wants to go down (but we are not yet on the shore) and Thom and I row powerfully and ready to relaunch ourselves in the river.
Returning to the base of operations, we enjoy a nice hot shower and we go to refresh ourselves together with Stefano at a picturesque village bar, where they serve pizza “all day long” and a group of local goers is watching a football match.
The day ends with this citation that I say to the girls on the way back:
“The cold passes, but the memories last forever!” I leave it to you to imagine the answer, but if I’m here to write it didn’t end so badly.
A memorable day, available at the Montepisano agency every Thursday and Sunday from April! ”