Schedule: Mon-Fri 9 am-6 pm

The travelleres notes: Rafting on the Black Tysa

1. Introduction

We had already stamped the snow, mounted the tents, threw into them our ground pads with sleeping bags, and I had already dressed warm gloves and all my fleece cloths from my reserve. I don’t like sleeping on the snow )) The attendants are preparing a supper and, it seemed, that someone are taking the guitar.

Svicha and Mizunka didn’t allow us to float on them. There is a low water level. Tomorrow we are going to the Black Tysa, as scouts said, there is much more water. It already was a twilight when I went down to the river, crossing the snow-covered little creek. I am stopping at the piece of the riverside ice. There is a micro canyon around it, created by meanders of riverbed. There are wooded slopes from all sides, snow-covered mountains in the front, dark-grey rainy sky overhead, tattered, almost black clouds everywhere. And there is a continuous noise of water.

You can feel so when you suddenly black out.  The space around you convolve in the chute hopper, pulling in together with East-West and Up-Down all the feelings – the touch, taste, smell, sound. For a moment everything mix, and after another moment you come to yourself, do a breath and somewhere there, by your internal vision, you’re trying to catch something that is sickly, delusory bright, with a term in several hours or years of existence, which your mind, being free for a moment, had a chance to live.

I never can catch it. It is so pity. :-)

2. Fabula

There are a guitar, big pot of tea on the fire and fifteen persons, among which I have known only Marta till this day. It’s cool, warm, quietly. And you so don’t want to leave the people, fire, guitar, and go to warm your cool and damp sleeping bag in the tent.  )))

3. Culmination

My captain is sitting on the canoe right behind me, but all commands he must scream, almost losing his voice – the water around us is roaring so.

It’s cool, it is really cool – to feel, to see, half realize how you are brought over the next rapid, how ice water flows in your face, pour you from head to your legs, how every second the water surface changes around you, how your life stops to stretch nine-to-five and takes a run to the whistle in your ears, mixing in integral and colorful miracle. It is so bright. Seems like not yours. 

…the sky-line in front of you turns the 90 degrees, and then totally disappears, the space hopelessly mixes with a time, the seconds stick in an endless extensional nothing, when there is no up-down-beginning-end, in which you are rotating in all sides and crashing with your head against the stone and bottom of the canoe, and swallowing the river water, strange jellied because of your unappropriate animal panic. 

-Tania, give me your hand!
-I can’t!
-You can! Give me your hand!

Stupid jokes of your scared mind. We have identical gloves. Centimeter by centimeter I am reaching his hand, but it is the same, as a mine – this hand, swifted by the black neoprene. Am I reaching myself? The movies, in which the spirit of just died person looks at himself. Something from Stephen King. Bosh. I’ve reached.

-Don’t unhand!
-Tania, I hold you.
-Just unhand me!!!
-I hold you.

Your «self» shares in two parts. Second  part clearly understands that the crash isn’t happening. That everyone is keeling. And then they are appearing. And Vitalik already hold your hand and life jacket, trying to pull you on the reversed canoe.

And just there was a Slonyk’s kayak on the water. He is one unit with it, with this red kayak.  He passes the rapids so easy, like dancing. He is cool )) He will not leave you here. And still a lot of people are around you. They are not uncaring to you. They will pull out you. And you remember if something happens you must lie by your back on the stream, with a legs in front. And more information you remember and know.

But your first part, this stupid, unappealable and very ancient – just has swallowed a lot of river water. It’s choking because of cold. It is in panic. It is just exhaling the air – with a wheeze, sharply, histerically. It feels that your hand totally don’t hang on the slippery rubber of the canoe. It turns head back and sees that you are flow on the stones. And if you don’t hang on now, you will be pulled under the canoe and will be pushed on these stones with your head.

It is such stupid feeling when you don’t belong to yourself.

On the bank you are trembling because of the cold and adrenalin. It is not far to the finish, and you can reach it by your feet. But can you? Sure, you can’t. Because here, on the river, everything stops to stretch nine-to-five… you understand me. And there is a rumour that there is a one more cascade of the rapids forward. And you soothe, that everything will be alright. And you continue repeat the same, when the water separate you from the canoe again, choke you when it pulls you over the stones and when you (oh, endless moments!) finally manage to catch the metal gauze, and there is only few meters up to the road.

At the top you don’t understand why your legs so ache and double up until you take off the wet diving suit and you see the a composition of different bruises ))

But, glory, it is so cool!!!

4. Ending

We return to Lviv. It is dark. The car goes through the heavy mist. Nothing is visible. «- Look, how do you see?» «- I don’t see. I am just driving along the driving mark))»

I am not a driver and I needn’t look on the road. But nevertheless all these hours of scrambling through the mist and totally broken asphalt I am tensely looking in the road. As if it helps.

Bu Nino Katamadze combines very well with a mist. Gogol Bordello, curious to relate, is good as well.

5. Final credits

Thank you all, people. It was unbelievable cool.

Even better than last time ))