Great day today. It was flaming hot, but no bad winds. I also reconfigured weight balance of the canoe and managed some 5.8km/h on average. Not bad, but still almost 700km left to Cuxhafen. The scenery was brilliant all the way and i also squeezed in a swim and my russian class (on skype, just to avoid confusion).
Memory lane continued with Stadt Wehlen (x-mas meet up with fellow a-level students), Pirna (where we did a levels, Dresden (where i studied, partied and more) and Radebeul (well, they been making good wine for a long time). Lunch I took in Pillnitz next the castle and opposite the last Elbe island and an afternoon beer and shopping (steaks!) in ‘Das Dampfschiff’ in Radebeul – a glass of local white included and some good chat with a local angler.
Highlight for me though were the great people in the beer garden on the other side of the river to my camping spot at Skopi’s Elbgarten. Great conversations amongst Saxons. Love it. Do visit!
Second highlight was the UK visa approval for my better half Laura. Happy! Soon i wont need to paddle alone anymore and won’t have to hike across scotland alone. I hope she will like it. Well, i know she will. Great girl.
Yet again i am completely exhausted while writing this. Only difference, it’s a few hours earlier. It goes without saying that both Alex and myself slept pretty well last night (despite the random fireworks of a campsite neighbor). By 6am day 2 was underway (for daddy at least).
Relaxed breakfast and packing up. Takes all a little time with an 8y old and also for me with the extra gear (i go obviously much lighter on hiking trips). On top, the gate closest to the river was locked until we got out 8.30am. 15 minutes later we were paddling again (the plural form arguably incorrect). From Decin it was about 16km to the last Czech village – Hrensko. Funny enough we saw the rivercruiser ‘river allegro’ … My dad used to be the capitain. Here is him performing Jonny cash’s ‘I walk the line’ to his passengers.
I remember the place too well for cheap petrol and cigarette shopping when i was younger. No such interest today. By lunchtime we were paddling in German waters and were greeted by the mighty sandstone hills of Saxon Switzerland… HEIMAT.
Bodycheck: That i am a novice paddler goes without saying. Hence i can feel muscles i didn’t quite know exist. Despite gloves the hands feel the strain and so does my bottom… Somehow i wonder how it will feel on this tiny saddle during my Sultan’s trail bike trip in September. 😲 The other bit is the constant sun exposure. There just no trees on the river 🤣
Before we even stopped for lunch we met granddad again. Bodo had some business in the small village of Krippen and came to greet the canoe team. We agreed where Alex will go off-board today.
Finally lunch (pasta carbonara out of the bag) and a little stretch in the city of Bad Schandau. There is a spot with sandbanks near the Toscana Therme. Really relaxing.
From there it was only a little more than an hour to my hometown of Koenigstein with its iconic fortress towering on the hills. Mum and dad came to pick up Alex and I was off for my solo section. Only 9km to go for today.
Waterlevels (Pegel) vs. Speed of waterflow – the higher, the faster (but current pegel is only 60cm and falling)
Pegel 100 cm = 3,6 km/h
Pegel 240 cm = 4,4 km/h
Pegel 300 cm = 4,6 km/h
Pegel 410 cm = 5,4 km/h
Pegel 550 cm = 6,1 km/h
Pegel 750 cm = 6,7 km/h
Pegel 800 cm = 7,2 km/h
P.S. All for Pegel level in Dresden
The last stretch takes you through arguably the prettiest part of the national park – Rathen and the Bastei. Thankfully the waterflow was decent enough for a little passive paddling to take in the scenery. Simply stunning.
And then i had reached todays target – the campsite of the german canoeing association near Stadt Wehlen. By air, the village i grew up in (Naundorf) is only a stonethrow away. For many years my football team SV Struppen joint forced with the youngsters of Wehlen and on numerous occasions i walked here on mens day (=drunk 🙃). A trip down memory lane.
Good night. Tomorrow off past Pirna and Dresden towards Coswig. So for me the last time in known waters.