How to Scale Waterfalls and Rickety Bridges

Hike to Potami waterfalls
The hike to the Potami waterfalls

Let me preface this blog post with:

  1. Before this, I had seen very few waterfalls in my life.
  2. Before this, I had never climbed up a waterfall.
  3. Before this, I had never scaled up wet boulders using nothing but a rope and my feeble little arm muscles.
  4. Before this, I didn’t know my capabilities.

Chasing the Potami waterfalls in Greece

Bridge to Potami waterfalls
One of the shabby bridges.

Before the actual act of swimming through the river and climbing up waterfalls occurred, we started out the  day by hiking through the forest. We walked alongside a small stream, and over bridges that seemed a bit worn for their time. The bridges were rickety and missing some planks… we thought this would be the hard part. HA.

Photographs at the beginning

The gang at the Potami waterfalls
The gang at the beginning of the Potami waterfalls

Once we went over the river, thru the woods and to grandmother’s house we go… we reached the first waterfall. The water at this point was only ankle deep, but about 40 degrees. Okay, so it was probably a little warmer than that, but it was so cold it made my body numb. So whatever that is.

Scaling the waterfalls

Everything we do in life is a choice. You chose to go to work today. You chose to eat that fourth cookie. You chose to tell your friends you were “busy” so you could binge watch that Netflix series. Those are your choices. And my choice? My choice was to be “one of the guys” and scale slippery waterfalls and wade through murky water instead of taking the wooden staircase to a restaurant where I could enjoy cold beer and french fries. I was happy with my choice.

Chasing the Potami waterfalls
Climbing baby waterfalls, against their will.

Although the Potami waterfalls weren’t very big, they were forceful.. The water deepened quickly and I had to swim to the first one. I about lost my swimsuit bottoms trying to climb up the rocks with flowing water shooting me backwards. But boy was it worth it. My nerves were racing about as fast as the water flowed, but once I made it to the top of the first waterfall (let’s be honest, I had a helping hand to pull me up) I was proud.

Wading through the Potami river
The Potami river that we walked, waded and swam through.

After that first waterfall, Athan, Justin and I encountered a series of adventures (Note: Athan and Justin are my friends). We weren’t sure where we were headed, but we were enjoying the journey to get there. We walked alongside ankle-deep water and we swam through water so deep I couldn’t touch the ground (okay, so I’m only 5’4,” but still.) We climbed over boulders and under low-hanging tree branches. We saw dozens of blue dragonflies, as well as other less-pretty insects. The entire time we were enclosed between two walls of rock, which blocked out the majority of the sun. I know what you’re wondering: But Skye, I thought you said the water was cold? Didn’t you freeze? Yes. I froze, and then I Elsa’d through it and got used to the cold.

Scaling the staircase (I guess you could call it that)

staircase at potami waterfalls
The “staircase…” Way scarier than it looks!

After what seemed like hours of venturing through the endless river and waterfalls, we decided to turn back. The rest of the gang we went with had taken a make-shift staircase up to a restaurant to hangout. We eventually went back and hiked up the stairs to meet them at the top to have a few beers and fries. This staircase was something out of hell though. It was missing steps, the rails were wobbly, from one step to the next was sometimes so high up that you nearly had to climb…  It was scary, and definitely not for the faint of heart.
But the view at the top…so worth it.

Restaurant at the top of the Potami river
Only photo I had from the top. Doesn’t do it justice.

What are your experiences with waterfalls and rivers? Share in the comments below!

[Photo cred to Paula Lagos-Ertl, Karlee Statt and Google. Thanks for letting me use some of your photos]

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