Thursday, June 30, 2011

Boat trip 2011

From 2011-06 Boat trip
Sergey invited us once again to go paddling with his partner and their employees. This time Alla even came along and shared a boat with me. Since she also shares a couple of languages with me, we had a much easier time working out our rowing technique than I had last year with Irina. Sometimes Irina and I struggled to reconcile what she wanted to what she wanted. I think we could have done better this year, but paddling with Alla proved to be easier and we had no trouble navigating around obstacles or overtaking other boats.

I really enjoyed being a member of this group once again. Since we were all comfortable already with each other, we were free to get directly to the business of enjoying each other’s company. As before, Sergey’s employees welcomed us warmly and treated us well.

This year’s route took us down wider rivers and we seldom encountered obstacles. As a result, sometimes we didn’t bother paddling at all. We’d just get out in front of the group and drift until a few boats passed us. Sometimes we’d grab onto another boat so we could drift and talk, and other times we paddled hard to overtake the boats ahead of us. Always we enjoyed beautiful scenery and we seldom saw evidence of human activity.

From 2011-06 Boat trip
There was, however, one very apparent area of human activity. Our guide’s sense of wilderness camping differs from our own. He brought along shovels, axes and even a chain saw in order to adapt the natural environment to his sense of what constitutes a campground. Alla and I scurried around picking up the litter we were dropping, but there was nothing we could do about the trees. I just hope they were more or less dead already. As for the berries, well, I hope the plants didn’t really need them all because I certainly enjoyed eating the ones I found.

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