3600 Miles to the Coruh

17th May 2009

Most people will do some sort of road trip in their lifetime. Some will do a road trip across their province or state and the lucky ones might drive across an entire country. If you work for Water By Nature, however, road trip takes on a whole new meaning. We don’t just traverse states and provinces and countries but entire continents. The latest WBN adventure was a road trip of epic proportions, a drive from Africa to Asia across the European land mass.

WBN in Spain or was that France?  Italy?  Greece?

WBN in Spain or was that France? Italy? Greece?

Water By Nature runs a rafting and kayaking season in Morocco. It also operates a rafting season in eastern Turkey on a river called the Coruh. The seasons are back to back and the same equipment and guides are usually used for both seasons. Now, in order to get gear and people from Morocco to Turkey we drive our van and trailer across Europe. The exact route varies from year to year depending on whose driving and the intentional or unintentional detours those drivers take. But, in general, the drive starts in Morocco and crosses the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain. From Spain the crew drives along the Mediterranean coast across France and Italy to the Adriatic coast. From there, a ferry service is used to cross the Adriatic Ocean to Greece. New motorways facilitate the crossing of that country to the edge of the European Union. Once past the Turkish border its smooth sailing all the way to Istanbul. Istanbul marks the end of Europe and the beginning of Asia all in one city. Once on the other side of the Bosporus, it’s still another 24 hours to Erzurum in the far eastern part of the country. In total, this 3600-mile journey usually takes about 8-10 days.

This year, Sven, Ethan, and Bob left Morocco on May 5th and arrived in Istanbul on May 12th. Along the way they spent a night near Marseilles, France and Pisa, Italy. Then in Greece, plagued with a little road weariness, they opted for two days of rest and relaxation on the beaches of the Kassandra Peninsula. The crew left Istanbul on the morning of the 14th and arrived safely in Erzurum on the morning of the 15th.

The Coruh season starts this weekend. The excitement level amongst the guides and clients for the first trip is tremendous. Everyone knows that this river is incredible. Unfortunately, this is the last season for this river as well. A damming project has already started and after this season the river will no longer be raftable. This whitewater classic, which has served countless numbers of rafters so well, will be lost forever. We’re here to enjoy it one last time!

So, after 3600 miles, 6 countries, 3 continents, countless hours, 17 Red Bulls, 87 coffees (between Bob an Sven), several hundred liters of fuel, too many truck stop meals, too many Cokes, not enough sleep, and way too much European dance music, the road trip is over. Mission accomplished. Next step: run the Coruh, enjoy the Coruh, and remember the Coruh. If you think that this road trip was a bit excessive just to get to a river, then you haven’t paddled the Coruh yet!

by Hamish McMaster

Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.


Recent posts

What A Perfect Way To See New Zealand


New Zealand has long been drawing international travellers to experience its incredible adventures. New Zealand feels like the ‘comfort blanket’ of travel destinations, with its friendly people and wonderful nature without the venomous ‘nasties’ trying to kill you (don’t worry, they are all in Aussie). There are many stunning parts of the country, but today […]

A Welcome Break From Covid Chaos


I was recently fortunate enough to travel to Greece for a week of sailing at the end of October with family and friends and to be perfectly honest, it was just what the Doctor ordered! In a world filled with uncertainty and a lack of positivity, the opportunity to island hop, swim in the ocean, […]

Our 2021 Shortlist Of Adventures – Where Will You Go?


It has been encouraging to see some of our past guests book on for adventures in 2021 and some even for 2022. It seems that people are more confident about travelling from May onwards when we hope restrictions will be lifted and we can recommence visiting some incredible places. In their spirit of adventure, here […]