paragliding at St. Bees, Cumbria

2013 Europe

Paddling Out to...Crap, Which Lake is This?

13 September 2013 | Mri Grout

Having the reignited taste for canoeing (despite still not knowing how to actually do so) I eagerly talked the other two woofers into going on a multi-hour trip with me. Luckily, they were both excited enough not to need too much convincing as it wouldn't have taken even a soft flicker at me to realize I had way more mindless confidence and enthusiasm than any kind of skill or actual knowledge...

But then again, when has any adventure I've undertaken actually required any kind of skill or knowledge? After all if I had had either those two qualities beforehand, then I would never have gotten such wonderful stories like those about a massively infected leg, me stupidly hitching a ride with a masturbator, or hoping on the back of a motorbike that constantly caught on fire. Such is the way of long as your luck holds anyway -which it has so far for me so what was one more ignorant undertaking, anyway?

A boat full of water that's what.

Water in a canoe
Sitting in a canoe full of water

Oh, and a lost paddle.

And drifting into a tree.

But you see that's when the luck kicked in because the 'lost paddle' also happened to have drifted into that tree on the riverbank. And then given it was on the riverbank, I was able to get out of the responsible position at the back and swap with the guy up front. In my defense, I did sort of maybe hinted that even though I really wanted to try to be the one in charge of steering (back position in a canoe), a baby giraffe would be more qualified. Much more qualified. MUCH MORE qualified.

Eventually though, we did manage to get most of the water out of the boat so in another half an hour we were off again.

Given the river only flowed one way, you'd think that getting lost wouldn't be a problem. I mean, it's not like we could've got turned around in our little mishap because the current would have been too tiring to fight against. And I had looked at the map before we had set off and was of the mind that the directions were overly simple: go down the river until you see another one on your left. Go down that river and into the lake. Less than an hour tops and then easy paddling around lake. Simple.

Two hours later...

Hm, maybe we are lost...

Oh, nope! There's the lake!

Er...a lake...


Exhausted from having paddled three times as far as we originally thought we would have, not wanting to fight our way back up the river, and pretty freaking cold at this point due to all the water I somehow chucked into the boat earlier, we did the only thing left:

We called to get picked up at a random shore and then relaxed until we drifted to said random shore.

Woof workers paddling a canoe in Keswick on our day off
Woofers and Rob carrying a canoe

And while the other two froze to death in their wet clothes under the cold wind, I had Rob bring me a towel, spare clothes, and a blanket. :D Boyfriends are great like that.

Though even though I really wanted to leave at this point, we didn't just abandon them for head back to a nice warm house (that I totally wasn't still staying in...); in fact, Rob strung up a slackline between the tow bar on his car and a tree. Funny enough though, our weight pulled the car towards the tree and the day later the car needed to be fixed. Weird coincidence that, but the best adventures always have them, don't they?

Travel Blog 2013 Europe