Jörgen started his sponsor-tour for the Clinic in Moldova this morning. Jörgen and his support- team have had a hectic time during the last weeks. The "Smiles for Moldova"-action got a lot of attention by local and national press, yesterday evening Jörgen was on Dutch Television. It must be a big relief for the team that the tour now finally started. It was a good start: a great farewell party in Restaurant "de 2 Provinciën", a lot of visitors, good press attention, good commitment from the sponsors, the sun shining and a perfect time management: Jörgen left the party as planned at 12.00 PM.
Before we said Jörgen goodbye, his support-crew gave a presentation about the goals of the kayak-trek, Dr. van Oort told about the work of the clinic in Moldova, and the main Sponsors and the mayor said a word. The restaurant was very crowded and outside arrived some dozens of paddlers to accompany Jörgen on the first miles of his long tour.
The mayor gave the official start sign. Jörgen paddled out at the "Paterswolde meer", heading over the lake and the channels in Gronningen to the Wadden Sea. It's only a short salt-waterbreak, the trek mainly follows rivers: from the Dollard, the Ems, the Rhine, the Danube. Finally come some salt-water-miles again: the black sea for the last stretch to Moldava - but that's only a small part on a total distance of 4000 km.
I was in the comfortable position to wave Jörgen goodbye from the tourist-boat in which the support-team with press, sponsors and officials escorted the paddlers on their first miles. It was also a nice occasion to meet a lot of kayak-friends. And it was good fun to see the press at work.
For a video/interview with Jörgen and Dr. van Oort about the kayak-trek and "Smiles for Moldova" click here.