A few days of training under our belt: Paddling the GrandUnion Canal, portaging around the locks and making good miles. And some upstream paddling on the River Leam, hard work. It’s been good to get going and feeling like the whole plan is all possible. We have been hitting the target mileage we hope to hit when we’re paddling across Europe and that’s what really matters. We’ve been through heavy rain and got burnt in the sun already and have only really been paddling for four days. Nathan’s gone from day 1, “So seriously, talk me though it. Do I just use the paddle like a spade, yeh?” to powering along on the difficult upstream. We’ve managed portaging the heavy canoe around a lot of locks on the Grand Union and got efficient at getting the boat in and out of the water.
Today we covered 16.5 miles. Nathan pooed in a field, I nearly pooed at all the swans we had to pass, and Nathan practiced man-over-board drills by popping out of the boat for a paddle in the River Leam. All after chatting to two local newspaper reporters about how great we were getting on, how prepared we are, e.t.c. But it’s all good. And we are actually making serious progress. We responded quickly to Nathan swimming in all his clothes and have learnt a few lessons generally over the past few days. Training is all good. 3 weeks left of university: we drink, party and canoe.