Up this creek with some paddles
27th July 2018
Where are we? Andalsnes, Norway
After the hard work of yesterday another day of rest was required today. So we had a lie in and took it easy as the day promised to be a hot one. Jessica seemed to have fully recovered from a mysterious ‘injury’ she suffered yesterday. Just at the time when all the sorting out from our day out needed doing and the dinner needed preparing and the children needed tending to she came down with a severe case of manfoot. This is one of those conveniently timed incapacitating injuries (normally affecting men, hence the name) that usually lasts the duration of whatever work and/or chores need to be done. Anyway, by this morning it had all cleared up which was a minor miracle given the state she was in and the pain she was suffering yesterday, it must have been the combination of Deep Heat and an ice pack both applied at the same time which confused the foot and caused it to recover overnight. The little beach was much busier today as the weather was so warm and it was a bit easier to dive into the water and stay in for longer than 30 seconds as the hotter weather made the cold, cold water a bit easier to deal with. Our plan for the day was to have another go at canoeing as the river here could not seem to be more gently flowing and we figured we could head up stream for a bit and then cruise back down. We obviously need a bit more work on our paddling, perhaps a coxswain for each boat is in order because it was seriously hard work paddling upstream. Sharing the work with the girls makes for an uneven balance of power and this combined with going against nature and the swirling, but mostly hidden currents of the river made us zigzag our way before Jess and I both decided to take full control of our crafts. At one stage we were both giving it just about all we could but there was very little actual headway being made but we persevered and managed to make it a bit of the way upstream although we decided to wait for the cruise downstream before we would appreciate the surroundings or take any film. The girls were in their wetsuits and life jackets so they decided to jump in and float most of the way back. The way back was much easier although the currents were still tricky to navigate, at one point I was trying to remain still but the currents were pushing me back upstream, not really sure how that actually is possible. Still, today we just about broke even on the time spent blowing up and packing away the canoes compared to time spent on the water so that is progress of sorts. A bit more practice is still required though, I think we need to find a calm stretch of water with no wind and no currents to practice on. Since we are moving on tomorrow we needed to pack up all our stuff which meant loading 6 bikes, drying and packing away 2 canoes as well as sorting out all the rest of our stuff and re-organising the van. This process seemed to take ages so luckily the manfoot did not flare up again as I don’t think I would have been able to (wo)manage to do it all myself. And now we sit here at 11pm (still broad daylight) and Jessica is working away and I am writing all this after finishing some work and I find myself being forced to agree with Lily, a day of rest never seems to involve any actual rest.
What have we learned? It is amazing how many tasty meals you can make with 3 vegetables and a variety of jars of sauce. And how many consecutive lunches you can have tomato sandwiches when you have decent spreads.