Portugal 2014

by Jakub Sedivy

This winter, there was a hard decision, where to go kayaking. Quite a few factors got involved. At the end of the Borneo Expedition I have got sick with leptospirosis which resulted in loosing my Nepal tickets. Bummer. I came back home to Czech with the plan of recovery and as soon as I got better the plans for another paddling mission came to life.  

With the not so typical winter for Europe, we put together a crew of friends from Czech and left with hopes for good water levels in Corsica. Everything turned around in Pilsen, where Mira got a message from Portugal promising high water levels. Plans changed, we stocked up on caffein drinks and headed south west to Galicia. Having no real beta we met up with some of the locals to show us the ways to their local gems.  

To be honest we were greeted by an amazing whitewater from the day one. Nice bedrock slides, clean drops, continuous boulder gardens and even some very cool bigwater. We felt like we just got to a European winter boating paradise. Different technical river every single day, smooth granite, high waterlevels, porto at the take out and good crew of friends made it a trip to remember.

Few facts I found out about Galicia

  • not many people have the guidebook but usually someone knows someone else who knows the river and people are very friendly

  • the rivers are rising and dropping fast with the rain or lack of it

  • kayaking is amazing but portaging can be strenuous due to prickly bush everywhere (literally).

  • hike out of the rivers could be very hard due the bush and relative remoteness

  • when it rains, it rains hard.

  • once you had been there with good water you will want to return :)