By a couple canyoners travelling from Puerto Rico, for the love of canyoning.
My name is José Manuel and I am an amateur canyoner. I started canyoning over a year ago when I went on my first canyoning tour. Since Canyoning is a new sport in Puerto Rico, learning in the beginning was difficult. However, I was lucky enough to come across the Puerto Rico Canyoning Association (CPRA), which was founded in the year 2020, and took my first canyoning lessons with David Flores – Principal Director of CPRA. A year later I got certified as ICAN Monitor 1 and took the Vertical with High Water Flow course under the instruction of Gustavo Cisneros from Mexico’s ICAN Formation Center.
As canyoning became an ever-growing part of my life, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by the stories that I heard from other canyoners who have traveled around the world to practice the sport. So me and my girlfriend, Yazmin, with whom I share a passion for both canyoning and travelling, decided to travel for a month canyoning across Europe as much as we could; working our way from the most eastern part of the continent to the west.
Turkey became our first destination. Some would say that travelling alone, with nothing more than two backpacks (one full of gear and another with clothes for a month) to foreign countries, that speak different languages, to see where life would take us, seems kind of crazy, but we were up for the challenge. I started searching on Instagram for different Canyoning Clubs in Turkey and eventually got in contact with members of @kanyon.bursa. They were more than kind to us and organised a trip to Kaputas Canyon, a beautiful site about 3 km long with around 27 rappels, the highest being 29 meters, that ends on an incredible Mediterranean beach. Even though there weren’t any giant rappels or sections with huge water flow, it was a high compromise canyon with almost no escape points. Nonetheless, all of the rappel stations where adequately equipped, and the group demonstrated their technical savvy by getting all 14 canyoners across the canyon in less than 6 hours. Afterwards, we went to Kaz, where we tried some delicious Turkish food and said our goodbyes, having made nice friends whom I hope to meet again soon.
After traveling a few days around Turkey, we made our way to Greece. Gustavo Cisneros was kind enough to introduce me to Evie Barla via Facebook, and so, prior to our arrival, we had already talked about options for canyoning in Greece.
We met a group of adventurous women who would take us on our first dry canyon experience, the Gerakina Canyon; a dry canyon with 17 rappels and a maximum descent of 30 meters. Since canyoning in Puerto Rico is done in wet canyons this was the first dry canyon we have ever done, and I must admit it was quite enjoyable. After finishing, we went for food by the seaside; where we kept sharing stories with our new friends.
On our next day, we went to a canyon with water, Mega Rema Canyon part B, where we had an amazing time descending over 26 rappels, with the highest descent at 25 m. where we got to set up stations, as we were welcomed as part of the crew. The water was very cold and it took us less than 5 hours to complete the descent. However, we were compensated after enjoying a swim in the nearest hot water springs! Also we tried the famous Greek “souvlaki”, a delicious traditional delicacy, which was the perfect ending to a great day! Overall, our experience in both canyons was great, filled with teamwork and safety.
For now, our journey continues for a few weeks around Europe and we are hoping to get more canyons in before heading back to Puerto Rico. You can find us through Instagram as @auffant.pr and @climb_veler.