Monday, May 19, 2008

the first lap


to all viewers.

well yesterday i did paddle my first few hours on the donau.

having paddled for over a month upstream, i was a relief. just go with the flow.

i left the blog a while unattended because i was to busy with paddling. and as i have to write for a newspaper as well every week overhere in holland, the english site is forgotten. the river rhine i did paddle for one day but the current was to strong. i did go to the wanheimer kayak club near duisburg and they helped me to get things organized.

we find a big vessel that did bring me to the main river, upstream the rhine. and we did a good interview as well in duisberg.
a whole page was for smilesformoldova.
then the battke of the river main did start a long and tiresome river....if you go upstream. sometimes, imean often the pace was not only 3 km an hour....and then the numerous locks. as for now i had more than 60 locks i did pass by.
some are helpful, sometimes have to wait for 2 hours to go together with a vessel. sometimes had to take the boat out of big quays and was always happy not to have my back in two pieces....all in all a reminder for the people who read thisl do it downstream and a beautiful river is there for you.
after a few weeks of hard work i did arrive at the main donau canal. also there a lot of locks and after a few days the lockmaster did not want to help anymore...the height was getting to dangerous for a kayak. so back to the traditional handwork, all in all hard work and always happy to be on the other side of the lock.

but it.s not all about suffering. one night a man passed by with his son, and promised to come back...with warm chicken, lots of softdrinks, lights, bread etc....i had to refuse a lot because it will not fit in the boat, although the chicken was already reserved for the belly.
or an old lady who did keep an eye on the boat because she did not trust the youngster hanging around.
for the rest it.s perfect kayaking, the cold freezing weather is now gone and we had a warm week. and now some rain again.
my first lap to the donau is done. 1245 km.
and although i speak some can not be avoided to have some misunderstanding now and then...the lockmaster one time did hang out of his window because i made an error...i just could not understand what he did mean.
aber keine probleme jahhhhh.
i will take a few days of rest overhere in regensburg and do a interview and then at the end of the week it.s paddling again.
i also have a big hole under the waterline of the cockpit, but the tape is doing a great job.

well the coming two or three months i will be on the donau, danube or whatever they call it.
in 3 weeks i will leave the west of europe behind me and will go into serbia, etc...see what will overthere....