Sometimes it takes a few years for a plan to come together. I think it was during our second trip to France that I first heard about “Aqua Rando” (short for Aqua Randonnée, literally: Water Hiking) where people don wet suits and swim/slide/hike down narrow alpine streams and gullys. I kind of imagined it being like whitewater rafting—without the raft.
Our previous trips to France never allowed enough free time to consider doing one, and I wasn’t sure if we’d get around to it this trip either. On our last day in Porto Vecchio, I was flipping through the various brochures we’d picked up, and thumbed through one for Canyon Corse—the next day we’d be driving to Bastia and they were located on the way. We called and signed up.
We showed up the next morning for a three hour course through Pulischellu canyon. I thought maybe there’d be a few slides and a lot of in-stream hiking, but it turned out to be quite the opposite.
After a 30 minute hike in bathing suits and climbing harnesses, we arrived at the start: a 9 meter natural slide into a frigid alpine pool. From there we were belayed down a slide/waterfall, jumped off a 4 meter high cliff face, slid down all manner of rocks, did some “freestyle” jumps, and at the very end, slid on our backs, headfirst into a torrent of water that shot us off a cliff with a 3 meter drop. It was a non-stop adrenaline rush.
A sports and fashion photographer tagged along (it being his off-season) so we got some pretty wild shots of our time. Here are a few of my favorites.