WEBASTO - Feel the Drive
  • Kajakfahren im Soca Tal

    The Ultimate Challenge:

    Kayaking in the Soča Valley.

    Triglav National Park in Slovenia is home to Europe’s whitewater paradise: the Soča river. Our author took up the challenge and made a dive for the waters on his kayak. Continue reading to find out how he got on.

  • The alarm on my phone was due to go off at 7am, but I’m actually awake 15 minutes before it sounds. Perhaps because my subconscious mind just can’t wait any longer. After a long time planning, my dream of kayaking in the Soča Valley is finally coming true. The emerald-green river is one of the most popular rapids around for whitewater enthusiasts. I excitedly get ready and gobble down my breakfast. I absolutely can’t wait. But I am a bit concerned: kayaking is an extreme sport, not a casual game of chess.

  • Extreme sports in a World Heritage Site.

    Half an hour later, I’m sat in my kayak on a small hill about two and a half metres above the Soča. My boat scrapes along the rugged rocks, which are only covered by small tufts of grass here and there. I carefully slide my kayak towards the edge of the mound. The sound of rushing water is loud and powerful. The autumn air is cool. It smells of mountain and moss. I take the time to savour the moment. My gaze roams across the mountains, which tower above the valley and up to the sky at heights of around 1,700 metres. Patches of fog swirl around the bright, rugged limestone peaks. There are dark green trees as far as the eye can see and countless tiny white gravel stones on the opposite bank.

    Slovenia’s nature is diverse and beautiful. The country is often underestimated as a holiday destination. It has everything you could ask for: tall mountains, picturesque lakes, crystal-clear rivers, modern towns and cities, rustic villages and even the Adriatic Sea. More than one third of the cities in Slovenia are protected as historical monuments. Even the Soča Valley and the river itself are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Kayaking: like Formula 1 but without brakes.
  • Let’s dive in.

    I take a deep breath. Am I really about to do this? The Soča never looked as wild as this in the many YouTube videos I had watched, again and again. I’m not a complete beginner, but I am feeling a bit uneasy. Can I do this? Or is this a step too far? I get myself going and push off. The bow of my kayak dips, delving deep into the cold water, and quickly springs back up. 

    Fast. Unpredictable. Pure action. 

    The water stuns me as it smacks me in the face. Adrenaline shoots through my veins. The icy coldness has me in its grasp – but instantly lets me go as the Soča's current carries me off. Kayaking is a bit like Formula 1 – but without brakes. I speed along the river in my unstoppable kayak. Thankfully I looked for a section with no rocks in the water as a starting point. The Soča is a very diverse river. Fast-paced sections are followed by quieter ones. There are parts that are also suitable for beginners. Others, on the other hand, should only be navigated by experienced people who know what they’re doing.

    The golden rule when kayaking is: keep your mouth closed. But it’s not so easy with these views. I am fascinated as I watch the spectrum of colour in the mountain river. The water turns various shades between turquoise blue and emerald green. It’s so crystal clear that I can make out the round stones on the riverbed. My kayak glides through the green landscape. Suddenly, I jump at the shocking sight before me: I’m heading straight for two boulders with just a narrow gap between them! Can I fit through? Yeah, it should be fine. But it might be a bit tight.

  • It takes strength and is a lot of fun.

    I use my paddle in the water to control my direction. I need all the strength I’ve got to hold my own against this elemental force. The river is now roaring fiercely. My kayak and I are one. The danger binds us together. There! The rocks! It all comes down to this. We dash through the boulders, drop about half a metre on a mini-waterfall, plunge deep into the water and spring straight back out again. I have water droplets on my lips, but also a smile. Made it! It takes a lot of strength, but the river also brings me so much joy.

    The water has now taken on a green hue. I try to appreciate the beautiful banks that pass me by, all while keeping an eye on the river, which poses the odd challenge in the various rockier sections.

    Made it! Safe and sound on the riverbank.
  • Quick! Let’s get warm!

    Later, as I stagger out of the water with my kayak, frozen and exhausted, I can feel my muscles burn. Wow! That was tough, but an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    Home, sweet home: the Webasto Xperience van

    At the end of a long day, I shiver as I climb into the Webasto Xperience Van, a VW Camper with two Webasto parking heaters. The Thermo Top Evo heats the front seats, while the Air Top 2000 STC does the interior at the back. The two devices are super-silent and consume hardly any energy or fuel. I turn on the heating for the interior. It actually spreads the much needed heat surprisingly quickly. It feels like coming home.

    I slip out of my kayaking gear – it’s like peeling away all the tension I’d been holding on to. As hungry as a wolf, I tear into my supplies. Over a hot cup of tea, I think back to all that happened earlier in the day and find myself searching for the next challenge in a book. Woah now, maybe I should slow down! Chill out and regain some strength first. Feeling exhausted, I shut my eyes moments later and give in to the blissful warmth. I don’t need another wash today. The Soča did a pretty thorough job of that!

  • Our Products
  • Thermo Top Evo 

    Tailor-made comfort for every car. The Thermo Top Evo heats particularly powerfully and efficiently - with particularly low fuel and power consumption.

    » Learn more

    Air Top 2000 STC

    The Webasto air heater offer constant heating performance. Enjoy precise and constant interior temperatures in any weather.

    » Learn more

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