Laying on the beach all day, having the sun gently caressing every part of your nearly naked body and being totally relaxed sounds nice. In reality, however, it gets really boring, really fast. Which is why we have a solution (we always have a solution) that will make your vacation worth spending your time on.
You’ve probably heard of river kayaking. So did we and although we haven’t tried it yet, we went to, guess what: sea kayaking! At first, we were a little nervous. We both feel physically strong enough for facing a challenge, but rowing is a whole different level. Or so we thought.
Let me start out from the beginning. Our guide, Galin, who’s also responsible for our last life and mind-changing journey, is the owner of a sea kayaking company on the jaw-droopingly gorgeous North Bulgarian Black Sea. He took us to beach Bolata in the early Saturday morning, gathered us in a circle and sat on the sand. No, he’s not a yogi – this was the instruction we needed to learn how to work with the paddles. After a short intro we had our first not-so-dry try in the little bay area.
Here comes the moment to mention two important things. First, you won’t need a neoprene costume even if you’re going kayaking before the actual summer. Galin’s kayaks are not the regular plastic nut shells. They are proper, fiberglass kayaks each worth a little fortune. With carbon paddles. And while monetary value may not be important in many situations this time it makes a world of a difference, allowing the rower to indulge in enjoying the moment.
Second, don’t worry about physical strength – it is totally irrelevant when it comes to kayaking. It’s all about skills, enough of which you’ll have after the first 5 minutes in the water.
When you leave the bay of Bolata beach and enter into the wild sea…
… the feeling is incredible! Blue water all the way to the horizon, space large enough to accommodate your thoughts and dreams and the marvelous rock formations of the nearby shore. Words can’t describe the emotions that flow through your entire being. The fear that we all previously felt, the doubt that we won’t be good enough: they had left the building. We just rowed and grasped at the beauty before our eyes.
This is the distance we rowed with our kayaks. We rowed along the shore, laughing and talking, enjoying the ever-changing scenery. As we approached Cape Kaliakra from below, the water flow changed slightly, making rowing a little more challenging.
This was the moment of truth. Were we cry-babies that couldn’t handle a little difficulty or were we sea wolves who would conquer the uncomfortable and push forward? We did the latter. And we are proud of ourselves! Plus, the reward that we were about to get was worth it, so much more than we could imagine. And it all had to do with The Captain.
As we arrived at the switching point, the rest of the team jumped in the kayaks and we took their previous place – hopped in the boat of Captain Krassi.
The boat ride
And while the kayaking trip was a soul-fulfilling journey, the one in the boat was for the mind. Captain Krassi drove into the sea, passed Bolata beach and continued towards Rusalka Resort. The boat glazed slowly along the rocky beach allowing us to enjoy the full glory of the art, crafted there by Mother Nature. Several kilometers later, we started going closer and closer to the rocks seeing more and more cormorants.
Just when we thought we could not see the birds from any closer, we gently approached a cave and entered it. Warned by our captain to keep silent we watched the birds and their nests. Well, at least the ones that did not jump into the water the minute they saw us.
As we left the cave, Krassi drove a little further and stopped in the middle of nowhere. First he took a knife out and I couldn’t help but think that I am watching way too much ID Extra (a TV channel showing actual crime cases). Worrying was needless. Next thing to appear aboard were limes, cups, a bottle of rum and Coke! And yes, we had Cuba Libre cocktails, surrounded by blue waters, blue skies and the satisfied smiles of the new sea wolves.
On our way back to Bolata I rode on the front of the boat, trying to consume as much of the scenery as I could. Heaven, indeed, is here on Earth, I thought to myself. It’s us, people, that turn it into hell sometimes. If we could only just stop and look around more often. If we could only appreciate what the Universe gave us… Only if we could.
Will this be your Black Sea adventure? If you’re still wondering whether you should switch a night of partying for kayaking and a boat ride (or either), think no more. As an experienced beach partier, allow me to tell you: this experience is so much better!
We look forward to seeing all your pictures online! Hashtag them with #KavarnaKayak and let us know what you like the most about sea kayaking!
P.S. Shortly after we returned from our trip, Captain Krassi sent us a picture of his new friends!