I don’t like funerals. I never have. Although when I actually think about it, I don’t suppose anyone really enjoys funerals. Least of all the instigator of festivities.
After several months of grieving, it is time to accept that the raft has moved on from this world.
On the day that it died, we rafted down the Danube, happy pirates, blissfully unaware that we were about to be arrested. Days later, we attended the funeral of the raft, a much loved member of our team. Dear raft, you will not be forgotten.
Despite not being able to provide us with a crime that we had committed, the police told us that we had to stop and take our raft back to Slovakia. Having taken us over two weeks of continuos sailing with the river, we told them that it would be rather difficult to sail back up the river. They then agreed that we could simply dismantle the raft, but were against our idea of burning it on the river bank. We took the raft apart and recycled everything except the rope used to tie the barrels onto the deck (the barrels went to a friend of a friend, the wood to a lady in a hotel, the plastic covering to a friend).
With the death of the raft, it was only appropriate to hold a funeral. Under star and candle light (several friendly Hungarians joining us at intermittent periods throughout the night), we wrote out a final message and floated the final piece of our home down the river in the hope that one small part of our dream voyage would be complete. We have no idea if it reached the Black Sea, but I like to believe that it did.
As the last remnants of our ship drifted away, a nose flute was played (you can hear it in the video) and we three pirates went different ways. I am grateful for Leah, Daniel, and Patrick (my fellow pirates), but sad that our journey was stopped earlier than intended. Equally, I am relieved that we did not raft through Romania in winter.
This is the end of the pirates of the Danube and I file away the contents into a box of my mind. It is also the beginning of something else, something new, something exciting.
The end. Or is it just the beginning?