Elbe paddle (day 11 & 12): Niegripp – Tangermünde – (somehwhere near) Räbel

Today: 77km (2 days) | Total: 469km

Time is flying and the 400km mark long behind us. Many impressions to be remembered. Right up there was last night – stormy and full of lightnings, the tasty Kuhschwanzbier in cosy Tangermünde and the camp fire in the middle of nowhere tonight. Freedom is a great thing. And even better enjoyed together.

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Way to Tangermünde: Laura’s first full day on the canoe took us 43km to Tangermünde. It was a long day and took until 8.30pm to complete. Much to observe in terms of wildlife, clouds and colours everywhere. We also passed by the last combat spot of WW2 (funny enough that the low water levels reveal ammunition from back than at this time).

Tangermünde is a lovely old city (17th century), very well-preserved and with tasty local Kuhschwanzbier (apparently the blond one is the better). We strolled through town in the morning after an eventful night that had hell break lose – thunder, lightning and rain from midnight to 7/8am. At times it was a bit scary, but the tent did a good job. With a bit of Portishead music we actually had a rather atmospheric path into dreamland.

 

Drifting along the river: Having left Tangermünde behind us we made good progress in the morning amidst good temperatures. After a nice noodle soup lunch we let the river do its bit for a while and enjoyed drifting along amidst sunshine, music, wine and couples talk. Loads of birds making a lot of noise around us. Permanant take offs, landings and flight in formations of large groups of all sort birds (many geese). After a bit of rowing, we rested 34km into the day0with a texas hot pot, grilled knackers and a camp fire. Lovely.

From here we have 300km left (43km/day). Let’s hope the weather stays on our side. Still not sure what to do in Hamburg. Let’s see.

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Elbe paddle (day 10): Magdeburg – Niegripp

Today: 20km | Total: 392km

The evening in Magdeburg turned into an all nighter. After my Vietnamese dinner i waited in an Irish pub for the supposed arrival of Laura by train from Berlin just after midnight. Sadly, due to delayed connections this was not meant to happen. So we both ended up waiting for the first morning train – she in Berlin, I in Magde.

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By 6am the wait was over. The initial plan though of taking a rest day in Magdeburg (eg in the tent) was not really an option. The sun was just too hot and with 36 degree forecast for the day we decided to relocate to a shadier place by the river.

We found one not to too far down the Elbe – Laura doing quite well on the paddling with her rocketontour baseball cap (how cool is that). A mix of cooling down in the river and catching up with sleep ensued. But we were a little short of water and decided to paddle on mid afternoon.

Sadly, no shop was open (sorry, exists) in the pretty village of Hohenwarthe with its romantic church and well looked after houses. However, we got free water from a nice older couple. Nice gesture indeed. No far off is the Waldschaenke with its beer garden. Nice for a drink, but pricey and with staff that wasn’t trying very hard to be friendly. Laura enjoyed her Würzfleisch though (€13,50!?).

We wanted to get some shopping done and headed 6km further to Niegripp… Only to find all shops and restaurants closed (as in so many villages before). Even the clubhouse of the local soccer team couldn’t help us. However, we got water from the graveyard to get by until the next village.

Dinner, wash, sleep – and well we slept. Tomorrow off Tangermünde. Weather permitting.