dazed days of river and sun. hot air in my face and shoulders working. Feet press gently against either side of my boat as I push with each paddle stroke, arms, shoulders, wrists.
White beaces and green trees, lazy people reclining at the waters edge. There are a lot of nudists in Austria. People use this river in many ways, an orgy of sport. An exuberance of health. Bikes, boats, canoes, fishing, picnics, fires, families.
It's so much. Never have I lived SO MUCH in the moment. By the moment I mean, what happens today, what happens tomorrow and that's it. When I arrive in Romania I will have nowhere to live and nowhere to go....but I will start thinking about that when I arrive in Romania, right now is just the daily paddle.
Wake up, pack tent, bring boat to river, a slow slide into the water, balance myself, get in and paddle. Swish and slide the paddle into the water, each stroke a small push forward until I gain momentum and am gliding. For the day. Sometimes a stop for a swim, sometimes to squat beneath bushes in the company of crackling dead branches and eat thick peanut butter smeared on good black german bread. Sun gets too hot in the afternoon, arrive in camp tired, dazed. crawl into a tent and kiss. Talk, chat, make new connections and tentative friends.
Today is a daze, as soon as I sit in front of a computer my head is spinning, I can't express this, it's too much all at once. Every day is a universe of pleasure. I am tired and I am angry and I am in love and I am trapped and I am happy and I give and give and give and then receive tenfold in return. Massage and songs and kisses and food.
Wild cherries, apricots, nettles, flowers. Squatting on boulders eating cherries from the low hanging tree branches.
Diving into cold water, current pushing insistently at my body.
Drinking schnapps in the rain, learning Russian toasting rituals.
Endless sun and endless river. Coal barges flowing past, dwarfing us, we ride their wake, floating up and over the swells of water.
Paddles dipping and rising as we paddle together into a lock, like small insects, struggling in the water. We are the ants of the river, slow swarming, ignored by the huge iron ships, the cruise boats with golf courses atop them, making it.
Everyone here has the spirit of adventure, an open heart....in whatever degree....we are all good people here. And I am one of them.
Today I am in Bratislave, capital of Slovakia. I have paddled 680 kilometres to get here. Another 1800 or so to go. More or less.
Tour International Danubien 2011 this is where I am....http://www.tour-international-danubien.org