Human Powered Raft

Windy Days on the Pirate Ship Raft

After crossing two dams on our pirates ship, we knew that had only travelled around ten kilometres in two very difficult days, but that there would be no more dams for several hundred kilometres. While we were enjoying a slow life on the river, I feel that I could roll more than 5km a day and hoped that we would soon begin to travel slightly further each day. After all, it would be cold on the river if we rafted all through the winter.

After crossing the dams, we were approached by two fisherman who were more drunkards than fisherman. We took a swig of their wine and they offered us a large fish. Sadly, being a pirate crew of four vegetarians, we had to turn down the kind offer.

In celebration of crossing the dams, we bought some of our own wine to celebrate. As we were on a small, side river of the Danube with no traffic (except for drunk fisherman), we felt safe drifting down the river. When the wine had run dry, we realised that we had to stop to find more. There were very few settlements along the river and when we came upon a small village, we paddled had to reach the rocky river bank. When we got to the river bank, Patrick (our Danish pirate) leapt to the shore to safely tie the ship up. Unfortunately the river was stronger than expected and pulled him into the water, catching our special bicycles on the way. These were the same £30 bicycles that we had cycled all the way from England to Slovakia and we were not keen to lose them. In our wine state, we decided night rafting was the best thing to do (read about night rafting written in the third person under the effects of sleep deprivation).

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Fast forward that episode and our life continued on the river. We dressed as elderly Hungarians to keep warm, slightly concerned when we read the sign indicating that we still had 1,904 km to go before reaching the end of the Danube.

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Despite the large distance that we intended to cover, we were in no rush and took each day as it came.

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The only difficult days were the windy ones. On the windy days, we were blown to the side of the river due to our sail-like tent and had to pull or push the boat along. On one particular day, we raced close to 6 km in little over an hour, only to find the wind change direction (or possibly the river). I got into the water and pulled the raft for around five to six hours (with help during a lot of it), only to find that we made little more than 3 to 4 km in all that time.

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But at the end of each day, we made a fire, cooked dinner over it, watched the sunset, and stared at the stars. Everything was OK. Everything was much more than OK. We were on a river powered, (walking) human powered raft and I couldn’t think of anywhere else that I would rather have been.

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