How did I end up kayaking an unknown river in Latvia, surrounded by 16 Latvians?
How on earth did I end up here?
Well, thank you warmshowers!
The preceding week had been quite busy, with my tour Helsinki- St Petersburg – Tallinn and the magnificent stay at the Rummu Quarry. There was a lot happening and I needed a few quiet days to let it all sink in.
Obviously that didn’t happen.
The first – and only – reply I got was: ‘ I’m sorry we can’t host you, we are going kayaking.’ That could have been the end. If I didn’t reply that I had my kayak with me and kayaking was one of the things I love to explore the area. After some messages in different directions, I got an invitation and a place to meet.
So there goes my ‘cycling quietly to Riga’, I had some 80 km in mind per day, but with the new destination set, there were a 110 to swallow.
The next morning I still didn’t know who I was joining and why. Apparently it was Janis’ birthday and he organised the little trip with some wild camping roughly in the middle of the distance. I was advised by Vitalijs, the Warm shower Host, to bring my camping gear and some drinks. The bottle of Captains Morgan spiced rum, I bought in the Russian tax free zone had found its destiny! I only needed a bottle of cola and I was set.
It was a very gentle paddle, with one most remarkable view! As I talked with my new friends about the astonishment I felt about the intense nature on the riverbanks, they explained that in Latvia, not only rivers are part of the state, but also 50 m of the riverbanks on each site. Except for not more then a dozen breeches, all was flowers, trees, birds, dragonflies,…
In the evening a big kettle Solanka was made on the campfire, and filled the site with a delicious smell. Genuine old school outdoor cooking! Jummie! After a day of kayaking, this simple diner was just amazing.
The night fell and nature became even more quiet – if you had the power to listen in between the snores of some of the team.
The forecast for the weekend was poor, but the weather on the contrary was good for kayaking, so that made it all even better.
This was an amazing experience, talking with a lot of them on all different subjects. I didn’t learn a lot of the language, but the culture & history isn’t a stranger anymore.
After folding the kayak at the end of the trip and getting a ride back to the starting point, I could again try do to it calmly, and try to let this And previous adventures sink in. I wonder if that could happen…
I would have never expected that I would end up in so many adventures! How I am enjoying this 🤘!
Oh, two days later I did stay in Riga with Vitalijs & Liene. They were back from some kayaking, apparently😉.