Lots of water, trees and plants, no human soul in sight, wild animals everywhere, sun blazing. And all that in addition to paddling around in an inflatable canoe. A trip right in the middle of – yes, Germany.
The one question I usually get asked no matter what the weather, route, food or anything else was like: Why an inflatable canoe? Well, it is not a child’s toy, not a swimming pool version of a canoe. My Grabner Adventure is an extremely safe, stable and reliable canoe, also suited for white-water rafting. It is very solidly made and does indeed survive close contact with underwater trees or stones.
Although not too comfy to handle in stronger winds, the Grabner Adventure can easily be managed by a crew of one or two for longer tours. Stowed and packed in a large rucksack, including lines, seats and air-pump, its weight comes up to something like 25 kg – and that is one of the main advantages. You can get it to almost any location to set off on your tour.
One more positive aspect, on the social side of canoeing: you get lots of folks making silly, creative or adoring comments on your boat, so be prepared to talk to lots of strangers.
Ten Lakes Loneliness
The ten lakes tour is a family and school class type of tour, making it very popular (and crowded) in summer and on long weekends. It is, however, long and varied enough so everyone can have their quiet spots – and outside high season it is a paradise for silence seekers. On some of the lakes motorboats are not allowed, making it a wonderfully quiet and peaceful paddling close to nature. The lakes are part of the “Mecklenburger Seenplatte” (lake district of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania), the shores are scarcely populated and so the feeling of solitude is virtually just a paddle-stroke away.
We started our 42 km tour in Wustrow, getting ready and onto the water with quite a few other folks which later on we did not see again… wonderful. Right after the first lake we got into a major traffic jam – well, at least for this tour’s standards. As mentioned before, this tour is fairly easy to manage and ideal for beginners. No currents, straight forward paddling, camping sites all over the place (nearly, meaning something like every 7 km or so).
The night we spent in a tent, the camping site being rather basic – but hey, that’s more than ok, no need for a five star accommodation when paddling in the wilderness. Once we had arrived and set up the tent we bought a couple of beers and wanted to simply watch the lake, rest our arms and doze off to sleep. Just after opening bottle no. 1 something like ten large canoes came in, all packed with six teenagers on a one week canoe tour. Immediately, and right until after midnight, “party” was the word of the day.
Rescuing lost ladies
On the next morning we were off to an early start (rest of the camping site still sleeping, which was no surprise…). The tour continued to be a joy of being on the water, combined with very green surroundings and wildlife close by.
The highlight of the day, however, was something totally different. On one of the larger lakes we saw two folks waving in our direction, and we quickly made our way towards them in case they were in trouble. And in trouble they were indeed… two ladies (sorry, ladies) were slightly lost and did not know which way they needed to go to get to their final stop. A brief look at the map, all sorted and on their way they were again. However, the highlight was not really them being simply lost but rather the reason for it: They had a pretty good party the night before, including headache in the morning, and decided that the best idea to get rid of the headache would be a glass of champagne (which ended up being three glasses before getting on the water). Oh well…
The remainder of the tour was a bit uneventful after our encounter with the two lost ladies. It continued to be a very peaceful and quiet day in a beautiful setting, and here are some more pictures of those two days. By the way, to take it really easy on that tour it would be ideal to spend three to four days on the water.
And what about the canoe, the Grabner Adventure? As usual and the same with past trips: no problems! It continues to be a reliable, easy to handle canoe. It has not been made for high speeds, which is quite obvious when looking at the design and material, but it does use only little space in the cellar and is a joy to transport. Would I go for a Grabner Adventure again? Absolutely!