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Eco-camp guarantees weekend fun
This eco-camp, nestled in the valleys of Slovenia, offers a laidback atmosphere with a wide variety of activities ranging from mountain climbing, canyoning and paragliding, to kayaking, hydrospeeding, and more.
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Eco-Camp guarantees weekend fun

Posted 8/5/2011   Updated 8/5/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Justin Weaver
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

8/5/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- "Don't let go of the hydrospeed," was perhaps the best advice I could be given as I floated in a thick neoprene wetsuit down the Slovenian river. But we'll get to that later.

Our adventure began as we pulled into an ecological camp nestled in a Slovenian valley about two and a half hours from Aviano, Italy. The kids, ages 6 and 4, were clamoring to get out and explore while my wife and I surveyed the campsite. Tents were laid out in a U-shape bordering the campsite, with a playground, volleyball court, zipline, archery targets and picnic tables sprinkled throughout.

The family tent we would call home for the next few days was divided into three rooms with blankets and small mattresses in two of the rooms. However, going to sleep was the last thing on our minds as we checked into the Adrenaline Check eco-camp, one of many in Slovenia that boasts an adventure-packed itinerary designed for any lifestyle.

We were greeted by our hosts who proceeded to give us the rundown of the camp. To the relief of my wife, we were told the showers and bathrooms were in a small building across the
road; not the river and tree line I had joked about earlier. For dinner, the staff prepared barbeque pork chops, ribs and chicken, along with roasted potatoes and vegetables, all cooked over an open fire. Talk about delicious. The following evening we had fresh fish seasoned and cooked whole. I am salivating just thinking about it.

The next morning, the camp staff offered to watch the children while my wife and I set forth to conquer our adrenaline cravings. Jennifer was set to take to the sky for tandem paragliding while I took to the water in what is called hydrospeeding. Hydrospeeding involves a specially-designed boogie board used to navigate white-water rapids. As I slithered into the river water, my guide called out instructions to me from his kayak. He told me how to use the raft to protect myself from the rocks, how to successfully flip upside down and then back up and, most importantly, he told me this, "Do not let go of the hydrospeed!"

Over the next seven kilometer stretch, I navigated through various degrees of rapids and only encountered two boulders that were too stubborn to move out of my way. Floating up to the shore, I smiled wearily at the guide "That was fun," I said as I flopped onto the bank, eager to finally rest.

Upon returning to the camp, my son proceeded to tell me about his adventure on the Flying Fox, a 180 foot-long zipline which runs below the campsite. That afternoon, I took the
children to the river to play while my wife enjoyed a kidfree afternoon by lounging in one of the hammocks perched on the side of a hill next to the campsite.

The next morning I met up with three Slovenians and our guide as we went on what would prove to be one adrenaline thrill after another - canyoning. It involves hiking up the side of a mountain and then putting on a wet suit and helmet. From there, we began our descent down the natural rock water slides, maneuvering through rock crevices and jumping into natural pools anywhere from five to 15 feet deep. The trip ended with a 36-foot waterfall slide into a pool of water just deep enough to cushion the fall.

Overall, the Adrenaline Check ecocamp offered a laidback atmosphere with a wide variety of activities ranging from mountain climbing, canyoning and paragliding, to kayaking, hydrospeeding, and more. Just remember, never let go of the hydrospeed!

Supervisors are encouraged to brief their subordinates on the risks of participating in off-duty, high risk activities. All Airmen should ensure personnel protective equipment is used and safety precautions are taken.

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