Tara canyon rafting: Take me to the water

It’s September and in my eyes everything is made of cinnamon. If only cinnamon can be synonym for beautiful. The mountain has a special smell in autumn. We are here, leaning against the walls of logs, hiding our noses into the collars of our jackets. Smiles hidden into collars. Minutes are passing by and it seems to be getting colder and mountain above my forehead tells me I’m not wrong. Finally, a small van stops right in front of us, the warm transport arrives. Likable driver and bunch of young people from Belgium. Few of them from England. As we are moving away from Durmitor to the Tara canyon, where we are going, the temperature is lower and the landscape at every meter is simply breathtaking. Country road, leaves in the colors of September, few houses along the road. Fruit trees, fruit trees on every step. Autumn from a book. Soon, we are in the house of our guides, where we change our clothes for neoprene suits and toast with the boss’s brandy. Everything around me is like a fairytale. Peaks emerge from the dense clouds that seem to be extensions of carefully planted fruit trees. I’m in accordance with everything that surrounds me. Here we go. We sit in two large boats on the shore of Splaviste and everyone takes their paddle. I put my fist at the sky blue water with shades of turquoise and feel how cold and fast it is. I admire the clarity of the water. I need badly to dive into it. The canyon is deeply entrended arterie in the Earth’s crust. Always very pulsating and delightful while it tames just at the moment when you think you caught it. With the color of it I would paint the walls of the room for a nicest dream. First paddle left side, then right and we descend the river very fast. We stop and we are on the shore again. I look at my footprints in gray sand and through the dense forest, swollen by the rain, I’m moving to the place where I see a scene that leaves us all speechless. Sparkling, white falls of river Ljutica, left tributary of the Tara river. It’s signed two times in the Guinness book of records as the most powerful spring of clean water in Europe, with 1000 liters per second and then as the shortest river in the world, 170m long. We are coming back to the boat and soon we are passing under the Great bridge. After few nice water parts on the right side of the river we can see the Monastery of Saint Archangel Michael. Small monastery stands alone into this wild beauty, like it was there from the beginning. And the third stop, Zeleni vir or Eden Gardens (this name maybe sounds like flattery, but fits well with what we saw and felt). Here river is calm and exceptionally deep, up to 15m. The explosion of blue and green flows into my palms making the cheeks stretched into a smile and my belly crossed the torrent of excitement. Above the crystal clear water two rocks are rising. Each of them is high few meters and I’m attracted by them like it’s a magnet. I’m standing on the top of the rock. These colors are no longer just beneath me, now they are into me. My body cooperates with each element around. It’s part of nature. My feet are walking slowly to the edge, eyes are closing and the ground beneath my feet disappears. Few moments of free fall and then water. Everything I see is beautiful, transparent depths and then suddenly, west brings me back to the surface. I’m swimming back to the rocks, but it’s hard, the current pulls me back. There is a hand of a friend which draws me to the surface and then we are doing all over again. Wet and frozen, we are going back to the boat where we are paddling to make it even a little warmer. And too soon we are at the end. Zugica bay. We are moving the boat to the surface now, changing into dry clothes and sitting at table full of fragrant homemade food. It never tasted better.
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Septembar je i sve mi je od cimeta. Ako je cimet mjerna jedinica za lijepo. Planina ima poseban miris u jesen. Mi smo tu, naslonjene na zid od oblice, skrivajući noseve u kragne.Skrivajući osmjehe u kragne. Minuti prolaze i čini mi se da postaje sve hladnije, a planina iznad mog čela odgovara potvrdno. Napokon, mali kombi se parkira tik ispred nas. Naš topli prevoz je stigao. Simpatičan vozač i gomila omladine iz Belgije. Par njih iz Engleske. Kako odmicemo od Durmitora ka kanjonu Tare, gdje smo se zaputili, temperatura je niža i pejzaž na svakom metru oduzima dah. Seoski put, lišće u bojama septembra, po koja kuća uz put. Voće, voće na svakom koraku. Jesen iz bukvara. Ubrzo smo se našli u rodnoj kući našeg vodiča, gdje se presvlačimo u neoprenska odijela i nazdravljamo gazdinom rakijom. Sve oko mene je više nego bajno. Vrhovi izranjaju iz gustih oblaka koji kao da su produžetci pažljivo sađenih voćki. U skladu sam sa svim što me okružuje. Krećemo. Raspoređujemo se u dva velika čamca na obali Splavišta i svako uzima svoje veslo. Zaranjam šaku u nebo plavu vodu sa nijansom tirkizne i osjećam koliko je hladna i brza. Koliko je čista. Koliko bi mi trebalo da zaronim u nju. Kanjon je poput duboko urezane arterije u Zemljinoj kori. Uvijek jako pulsirajuć i divan dok te kroti baš u onom trenutku kada misliš da si ti ukrotio njega. A njegova boja, tom bojom bih obojila zidove sobe za miran san. Naizmjenično vesla lijeva pa desna strana i brzo se spuštamo rijekom.
Zaustavljamo se i ponovo smo na obali. Posmatram otiske svojih čizmama u sitnom, sivom pijesku, pa kroz gustu sumu, nabreklu od kise, stizemo do prizora koji nas sve ostavlja bez rijeci. Pjenusavi, bijeli vodopadi rijeke Ljutice, lijeve pritoke Tare koja se nalazi i u Ginisovoj knjizi rekorda kao najjače evropsko vrelo od 1000 litara u sekundi i najkraće evropske rijeke dužine svega 170 metara. Vracamo se ponovo nizvodno, pa uskoro prolazimo ispod divnog, velikog mosta. Nakon par uzbudljivih dijelova, vidimo manastir Sv.Arhangela Mihaila iz 13. vijeka. Mali manastir, usadjen u ovu netaknutu prirodu gdje stoji kao da bi samo tu i trebao biti.
I treca stanica, Zeleni vir ili Rajski vrtovi, ciji naziv, i ako zvuci kao laskanje, pristaje onom sto smo vidjeli.
Rijeka je ovdje posebno duboka, do 15m.
Eksplozija plavih i zelenih boja uliva se u moje dlanove cineci da se obrazi rastegnu u osmjeh i da stomakom predje bujica uzbudjenja. Iznad kristalno ciste vode uzdizu se dvije stijene od po nekoliko metara koje privlace poput magneta.
Na stijeni sam.
Te nijanse vise nisu samo ispod mene nego i u meni. Moje tijelo saradjuje sa svakim elementom oko sebe. Ono je dio prirode. Stopala polako koracaju ka ivici i oči se sklapaju i tlo pod nogama nestaje. Par trenutaka slobodnog pada, zatim voda. Sve sto vidim je divna, prozirna dubina, a onda najednom, prsluk me vraća na povrsinu. Plivam ka stijenama sa naporom, struja me vuče nazad. Tu je ruka prijatelja, koja me izvlaci na kopno, a onda ponavljamo sve zajedno. Mokre se vraćamo u čamac gdje veslamo kako bi smo se makar malo zagrijale. I prerano, vec smo na kraju. Zugica luka. Izvlacimo čamac na kopno, presvlacimo se u suvu odjecu i sjedamo za mirisnu trpezu prepunu domace hrane.
Nikada nije bila ukusnija.
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                                                     Some photos from my GoPro 
So, we were doing rafting from Splaviste to Zugica bay, which is the shortest tour you can do. Lenght is 12km and it takes about 2 hours on the water. This part of the river is the center of the National Park, UNESCO Natural Reserve.
And if u’re wondering about speed category of this trip, it depends which time of the year it is. So, if categorization uses numbers from 1 to 6, it lookes like this:
1th April – 15th May – 4 to 5
15th May – 20th June – 3 to 4
20th June – 15th October – 2 to 3
What i need for this trip? 
Actually, only good will. Rafting company will give you neoprene clothes and shoes, life jacket, helmet and a paddle. During the tour you can use your camera, in the boat u’ll find a waterproof box for it. If it’s sunny, you should take some sun cream and bottle of water. Maybe some vodka. 🙂
How to book?
If u’re in Zabljak u’ll see rafting companies on every step. But u don’t have really to look for them, they will find u. 🙂 If u want to book it online, you can do it on email travel_agency_freedom@yahoo.com or on phone number +382679091156
How to find the start?
It’s important to go to the Tara bridge and it’s just 30 minutes driving to Pljevlja direction. And if u’re coming from another plac e, than it’s viser to ask tripadvisor.com. 🙂 Even if u’re not interested in doing rafting, you should go for the beautiful view and maybe zipline.

Dakle, ovo je najkraca rafting tura, od Splavista do Zugica luke, u trajanju od 2h. Dugacka je 12km. Tezina ture varira, zavisno od godisnjeg doba, pa to izgleda ovako:
1. April – 15. Maj – 4 do 5
15. Maj – 20. Jun – 3 do 4
20. Jun – 15. Oktobar – 2 do 3
Sta treba da ponesete? 
Prakticno, samo dobro raspolozenje. Rafting kompanija ce vam obezbjediti neopren odijelo i cipele, prsluk za spasavanje, kacigu, veslo, vodootpornu kutiju za kameru. Ako je suncano trebalo bi ponijeti kremu za suncanje i flasu vode. Mozda neku vodku. 🙂
Kako rezervisati?
Ako imate smjestaj na Zabljaku vidjecete rafting agencije na svakom koraku. Mada necete morati ni da ih trazite, oni ce naci vas. 🙂 Ako zelite da rezervisete mjesto online, to mozete uraditi ma mail adresu travel_agency_freedom@yahoo.com ili na broj telefona +382 67909156
Kako doci do pocetne tacke?
Treba doci do mosta na Tari i ako ste na Zabljaku potrebno je samo pola sata voznje u pravcu Pljevalja. Za ostalo tripadvisor.com :). Cak i ako niste raspolozeni za rafting, treba vidjeti predivan pogled koji most pruza ili probati zip line na njemu.
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Photos by my dear, dear friend Jelena Jovicevic
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