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Paddling the Oka River

Listed under Kayaking in Montreal, Canada.

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Mountains looking as smooth as fallen fabric provide the backdrop for paddling one of Siberia’s best white water locations. This is Genghis Khan country. A place of expanding landscapes, rugged cultures and adventure, expect to see volcanic remnants like desolate lava fields and hot springs, deep gorges and big rapids. Lake Baikal is near to the beginning point for white water on the Oka River and is an important local feature both to the culture and landscape. This gigantic lake is one of the world’s oldest and largest bodies of water (non-ocean) and home to some strange creatures found no where else in the world, so it is worth spending a day on it’s still waters before you begin your trip. The first section of river is too dangerous to paddle so most trips begin on the Oka Plateau and pass through 73 sets of rapids (11 class five and numerous fours.) just running though spectacular Orkha Bom Gorge, the rest of the river is almost as densely populated. The people of this region are descendents of tribes who lived here during the stone age so have a unique connection to this land and it is interesting to spend some time in their villages as well as picking up supplies there. The contrast between the agricultural jobs the people have and the new technology they have embraced is particularly interesting to observe. Plenty of good camping. Cool nights.

Written by  Tim Cullen.

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