Аннотация: Rafting on the Cheremosh - a challenging outdoor activity on river rapids in the Carpathians using catamarans, rafts, and kayaks
The main attractiveness of water routes in our region is their vivid individuality and diversity. On the same river one can discover the sections of various complexity, water content, grandeur and restiveness. The same river looks differently in winter, spring, summer or autumn, during abatement or flooding. That is why, it is very important to choose the place of rafting, season and weather, taking into account not only type and size of the boat but also your professionalism, experience and qualification. Bukovyna rivers suit for sailing on kayaks, paddle boats, rafts, inflatable rubber dinghies and on the Dnister reservoir you can use small sailing ships, cutters and ordinary pleasure motor ships. One shouldn't reject safety precautions as water rafting especially on mountain rivers is considered to be the extreme tourism.
It's hard to find another river on the territory of the former USSR that would be so popular and respectable among water tourists irrespective of its relatively small length. The tradition to hold sports rafting was initiated at the end of 50s of the XX century and in 1967 near the village of Biloberizka and Petrashi the first all-Ukrainian competitions in water tourism on canoe. Since then the Cheremosh has become an avowed arena for holding national and all-Union competitions, which actually turned into international events due to participation of crews from other countries. The traditions have not been lost up to now and the international popularity of the river grows with every passing year. Why is the Cheremosh so attractive?
First, it attracts by unsurpassed beauty of the nature, diversity of the very water-way and the full complex of natural obstacles peculiar for mountain rivers ranging to the highest categories of complexity. The river is full of sudden turns, rapids, shivers (chaotic conglomeration of rocks in the river), floodgates, gorges, and whirlpools that do not allow the knights of oars and a life jacket to relax even for a single minute. The Cheremosh has two faces: mountainous and flat, consequently, after stormy scuffles and troubles in its head water you will feel the pleasure of quiet rest in its lower reaches. A very important advantage of the Cheremosh is the proximity of populated localities where you can stop for night in tourist camps or in private houses since the crucial element in any water trip is the issue of overnight stay under normal conditions: you cannot put too much equipment to a kayak or a canoe! Another important and favorable factor is the convenience of access roads and sufficiently long season of rafting from early spring to late autumn.
So, don't waste time and go on trip to the head river, or to put it more precisely to the White Cheremosh. The etymology of the names of kindred rivers (whose names, by the way, are actually antonyms: white and black) is very interesting. It's hard to find visual colorful differences between these rivers or the chemical composition of their water. The toponymic analysis of many similar Ukrainian and foreign hydronyms has proved that the traditions go back the pagan times when the white color associated with everything right and positive and the black - with left and negative. The White Cheremosh obtains its name after the junction of two streams - the Perkalab (left) and the Sarata (right) - in a small populated locality Perkalab, which means "salty".
On the right bank in the middle current of the Sarata, at least three springs with the chloride sodium water are known. These springs are protected by the state as the hydrological natural monuments. The currents themselves are strong enough for rafting on kayaks, but only after their confluence the might of the river is sufficient for rafting on canoes, inflatable rafts, boats and paddle boats. When the water level is normal the width of the White Cheremosh exceeds 10 - 15 meters and the average depth is no less than 0.4 - 0.5 meters. It is wise to start rafting from Perkalab (when the water level is sufficient) since one can get here from Chernivtsi, Berehomet or Vyzhnytsya only in the second half of the day.
That is why it is worth to stop, prepare boats for rafting, have a good rest and stay overnight in the forestry, on the base for conducting training programs of Chernivtsi National University or in currently vacant buildings of liquidated forestry post.
If you have time you may go on an excursion along the valley of the Perkalab and in two kilometers you will encounter the ruins of the old dam, which was the biggest and the most beautiful in that region. Formerly, the dam generated water for rafting. A picturesque lake existed until 1985 and the smooth surface of the river reflected emerald woods and colorful cliffs relayed with shale. Rafting down the rivers had vivid ethnographic hutsul color, however, it caused significant losses for river ichthyofauna and resulted in the destruction of riverbanks, therefore it was recognized as ecologically inexpedient. And in economic "competitions" motor transportation has won.