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Rafting and the Pertosa Cave (Grotte di Pertosa)

 

The second day we started enjoying rafting with Centro Rafting Campobase.

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Rafting Centre Campobase.

 

Our rafitng adventure on the Tangaro River, which flows between Campania and Basilicata, started around 10 am and ended more or less  1 pm. In the center we got a wetsuit, water jacket, belay, helmet, and paddle.

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Equipped by the Centre.

 

We brought swimwear to put on under the wetsuit and towels to dry off after showering. We paid €40 per person.

I have done rafting in Calabria before and loved it. It was very exciting because the river in Calabria was gusty.

The Tangaro was calmer, but the act of paddling against a fairly strong current and avoiding rocks was still very pleasant.

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Enjoying the Tangaro river.

 

The mountains and nature surrounding the river were brilliant, and so was the whole experience of rafting.

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Rafting.

 

I definitely recommend it.

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 Starting rafting.


The centre staff speaks some English, at least enough to give instructions during the rafting and carry on a conversation.

After rafting, we had a cave visit scheduled for 3 pm. Having time we had lunch in the restaurant which is 2 min walking distance from the cave. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name, but there aren’t many restaurants, so probably it won’t be difficult to find it.  They give you a discount if you get sent there by a rafting company.

Visiting the Pertosa Cave  (Grotte di Pertosa).

Grotte di Pertosa is the only speleological site in Italy where you can navigate an underground river that flows deep into the mountain. The cave is believed to be over 34 million years old, so it is quite old. It is also 3 km long and, if I remember correctly, it is 24 m high at its highest point.

 

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The only way to see the cave is a guided tour.

 

To visit the cave, you need to book a tour, as the entrance is only possible with a guide. You can check the timetable here. We saw the grotto on Sunday in the company of 30-40 Italians. Well, I’d rather recommend a different day and maybe a different group. If you’ve ever had the chance to visit something with a large group of Italian tourists, you’ll understand what I mean.

I don’t know if you can visit caves 1:1 with a guide, but probably not, and for purely technical reasons. The first part of the cave tour takes place on a large boat with 20-30 people. It is hard for me to imagine that such a large boat would be made available to an individual tourist. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe for the right fee, you can have the boat, the guide, and the whole cave all to yourself.

For the first part of the Pertosa Cave  we were sitting on a boat pulled on a steel cable. 

 

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The first part of the cave and the boata pulled on a steel cable. 

 

It was quite a nice feeling to swim in the middle of a beautiful mountain. At the end of the first part of the road, there is a highlighted small waterfall where everyone was taking pictures and selfies.

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A way to the waterfall.

 

In the second part of the cave, there is a convenient route winding between stalactites, stalagmites, and waterfalls. The entire path is illuminated, which looks amazing in nature, but bad in photos. At least in my photos.

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Luminated paths in the cave.

 

Anyway, I really liked the stalagmites, especially the little ones (baby stalagmites) that looked like a colony of puffballs.

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Stalactites and stalagmites in Pertosa Caves.

 

According to the guide, the humidity level inside when it rains outside is 100%, so it also rains inside the cave.

We were advised to wear comfortable clothing and covered shoes, which is usually a good idea when you are in a rocky location. We also took long-sleeved sweatshirts with us, because the temperature inside is around 16° all year round. It wasn’t cold and I spent an hour and a half in a cave wearing a T-shirt.

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Weird shapes ot the stalagmites.

 

The cave is impressive and beautiful. The constructions of stalagmites and stalactites looked like figures, in places like theatre scenes, church altars, and mushroom farms. The cave is very tourist friendly, maybe too much for me, but otherwise worth a visit.

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