Septembar

86 | I was unfair to Montenegro. I came on holiday here for years, and I had no idea that – in addition to the sea and Durmitor – there’s an entire world waiting to be discovered. If it’s any consolation, I wasn’t alone in that ignorance. Few know that Montenegro has many canyons, real masterpieces that only nature can so skilfully incorporate into steep cli s. Andalthough theTaraRiverCanyon is themost famous, due to itbeingthedeepest intheworldafterColorado’sGrandCanyon, few in our 20-person tour knew that there are as many as ve canyons in the area around Bar, and even fewer of us have enjoyed adrenaline tours. I don’t have to explain how happy and excited we were ahead of this challenge that awaited us just ve or six kilometres fromthe comfort of civilisation. TheCanyonof the River Bunar is locatedbelowRumijaMountain, themassifofwhichseparates thehinterland of the Adriatic Sea from Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. Alongside the main entrance to Bar’s Old Town, it can be reached via a narrow local road, to theMenka Bridge, belowwhich you enter the river, but it’s best to set out fromBar with a guide, because the roadto it is alsoa special adventure.Wedrove jeeps along that old regional roadandenjoyed thepristinenature, andweeven passed through a long, narrow tunnel that was once traversed by trains but which hasn’t served people for a long time. Animals often seek salvation from the heat there, so in the deep shade and darkness of that tunnel we were awaited by a family of horses and several cows. They were good enough to go ahead of us, because we were unable to go around them, and in the end we emerged on the other side. I knew that the real excitement still awaited me, but this moment was also somewhat surreal. Andwhenwereachedourdestination, itwasclearthatsomething was coming that we couldn’t quite fully imagine. I consider myself a brave and courageous man, yet I didn’t feel indi erent when they began explaining in detail everything that awaited us and howwe had tobehave in the canyon. Andevenmore sowhen theygaveme ahelmet so Iwouldn’tpossiblybreakmy skull...OK, Luka, everything isOK; you cando it. And sowe entereda canyon that has asmany as vewaterfalls of up to 12metres in height, andwhich have for centuries beenground andpolishedby the icy and cleanmountain rivers, in the battle betweenwater and stone. This canyon that wasmy rst isalsothebest forbeginners, because it is theeasiest totraverse; it is like a kind of preparation for the terrifying Nevidio or the even more beautiful and larger Međurečje. But evenmy Rikavac, as they call it, isn’t for young children. We were awaited at the start by the greatest trial. We could either climb down the rst descent by rope or jump from a height of seven metres. I’m great at jumping, and even by the sea I clamber up onto some high rocks, but the problem was reaching a place fromwhich you could jump. It was necessary to pass a fewmetres with your back stuck to the rock face below thewaterfall. You stand on slippery rocks and literally edge along, a centimetre at a time, praying that you don’t slip, because you have nothing to grab on to. You have no equipment, are not protected and beneath you are only rocks. But when the guide asked who he wanted to do it, I immediately said yes. Of the 20 of us, only ve headed along that cli . I was unimaginably happy when I reached the point we were to jump from, because I love that. I force myself to take a step, feelinghorri c until I do that, and then the fear dissipates, I knowthere’s nothing left on me any more and let myself go. It’s an indescribable feeling when everything goes right and you emerge from the water, happy to be alive... It’s true that I often ask myself why I need that, why I do it. My mother would tell me that I’m not right in the head, but challengesattractmeandthere’snothingI candoabout it. After this rst descent, the guide gathered us together. “Well, people, fromhere there’s no left or right, and backwards least of all. se pentrampo nekim visokim stenama, ali problem je bio stići do mesta sa kojeg možeš da skočiš. Trebalo je proći nekoliko metara leđima zalepljen uz stenu ispod vodopada. Stojiš na klizavom kamenju i bukvalno miliš centimetar po centimetar, moliš se da se ne oklizneš jer nemaš za štadaseuhvatiš.Nemašopremu, nisi zaštićen, a ispodtebe je kamenje. Ipak, kad je vodič pitao ko hoće, ja samodmah rekao da želim ja. Od nas 20 petoro je krenulo ka toj litici. Bio sam nezamislivo srećan kad sam stigao do mesta za skakanje, jer to volim. Nateram sebe da zakoračim, jezivo mi je dok to ne uradim, a onda prestaje strah, znam da više ništa nije ništa na meni i prepustim se. Nezamisliv je taj osećaj kad sve prođe kako treba i izroniš iz vode, srećan što si živ... Istina, često sebe pitam šta mi to treba, zašto to radim. Mama bimi rekla da nisamnormalan, alime izazov privlači, nema tu pomoći. Posleovogprvogspustanas jeokupiovodič. “Epa, ljudi, odavde nema ni levo ni desno, a najmanje nazad. Možemo samo napred i naredna tri sata smo u kanjonu”. Gledam lica oko sebe i svi gutamo knedlu. Ali tu smo, što reče čovek – nemanazad. Kanjonnije odmah strašan jer je širok dva-tri metra. Ja sam fizički prilično spreman i nije mi bilo naporno, ali je pravi izazov hodati po tom klizavom kamenju. Jedan neoprezan korak i možeš da uganeš nogu i ćao, posle čekaš gorsku službu da te vadi napolje. A malo je i čudno gaziti tu mutnu vodu i ne znati šta je ispod. Mislim, voda je bistra i čista, ali onaj ispred tebe dižemulj, pa se stvari dodatno komplikuju. Vodiči su na početku i na kraju kolone, međusobno su neprekidno u komunakaciji voki-tokijem, osećaš se ti zbog njih bezbedno, a ipak, mozak grozničavo radi. Inače, moram to posebno da naglasim, sam u kanjonu nemaš nikakve šanse. Neki koji su krenuli bez vodiča nisu dobro prošli, zato ni u ludilu nemojte bez njih. Na nekim mestima oni su bukvalno fizička pomoć jer se zaglave među stene, pa sa njihovih nogu preskačeš i ideš dalje. Osimtoga, dobar deokanjona smo se spuštali konopcima, 90 stepeni u odnosu na stenu, glatku i klizavu. Vezan si za tumalu sajlu, ali je poenta u vodiču koji je dole, koji te čeka i kontroliše silazak. Ako se oklizneš i sklizneš, on je taj koji Odavde nema ni levo ni desno, a najmanje nazad. Možemo samo napred i naredna tri sata smo u kanjonu Here there’s no left or right, and backwards least of all. We can only go forward and for the next three hours we’re in the canyon

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