Thursday, August 14, 2008
I've been wanting to get into longer kayaking trips for a while. I think sea kayaking gets kind of a bad rap, but like most things, you can do it easy, or you can do it intensely. A couple years ago, I went to Belize for about 5 days kayaking island-to-island off the coast. While fun, I realized I was definitely ready for a bigger challenge.
I found it in Greece. Nine days of 4-6 hours of intense kayaking a day through ridiculously beautiful scenery. Amazing.
I lucked out in a kayak partner as well. One of the guys from work is also very into kayaking and came along for the ride. I found a company that rented us all the equipment we needed so all we had to bring was a sleeping bag. They also gave us printed maps to work with, and we were off.
To be honest, I've always prided myself on my athletic ability - particularly when it comes to water sports. However, this trip definitely taught me some humility. While I've sea kayaked with guys before, they were never as good as me technically and usually not in as good of shape. Søren was the first time I'd sea kayaked with someone who was as good technically (if not better) and better than me athletically.
As we were on our own, we had the freedom to set our own pace. For us, this meant all out. We beat the estimated times by about 2 hours a day, and he was barely breaking a sweat. To some people, this would probably be a total nightmare. For me, it was heaven. We got to visit almost every island in the Greek isles, saw a lot of things most people don't get to see and actually ended up in better shape after our vacation than we were when starting it.
If you're me, it doesn't get any better than that.
Oh dear. It has been a while, and a whole lot has happened.
What can I say? Four days of mayhem. I've posted the pics to my facebook account, so I won't bother to repost them here. We were spoiled with VIP status (thanks to Hello), so we had showers and could escape to the press area when the general scene got to be too much. Our protected campsite meant that I did not experience anyone peeing on my tent - which is apparently a common occurrence in the regular camping. Plus, it meant that none of us got too smelly, which is always good.
Didn't drink as much as I feared - afraid my system doesn't really do the hardcore partying thing anymore, but saw some amazing bands. Cocorosie was my personal favorite.
Also, one final note about peeing - I have never seen so many people peeing in public in one place. I am serious. Women squatting down barely on the edge or sometimes even in the middle of the crowd, men against every wall and every tree. Have to admit I was super thankful that it didn't rain like last year, which made it easy to avoid all the wet spots.
Diesel ran this human car wash, where dirty people could get hosed down by hot women in bikinis. (As showers were few and far between in general camping - it's a pretty good draw). I thought that was an interesting bit of marketing. They even had a window where you could watch as it happened. As you can see, this was often as crowded as the wash itself.