Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo

In the Netherlands the days in December are short, and mostly grey, cold and wet. Not my favourite time of the year. I escaped to the sun and spent last week on a Canarian Isle. Lanzarote was warm, dry and sunny and the days were also (a bit) longer. It's a special sensation for a Dutchman to bike in shorts and to swim in open water only a few days before Christmas!

Of course, on Lanzarote it was also Advent-time with this typical, somewhat quiet, almost contemplative atmosphere. In the touristical centres were palm trees decorated as Christmas trees. Lanzarote is a fantastic place to discover by mountain bike, with endless dirt tracks between lava fields and vulcanos. As "sea kayaker" I was fascinated by the coastline of the island, and felt almost jealous when two seakayaks landed through the surf on the beach of Arrieta.

This was my 4th visit to Spain in a year, by now I should slowly start to understand some Spanish words. For the reader, a free interpretation of the title of this post:

Happy holidays! A good 2012!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Winter paddling in the Green Heart of Holland: "Rondje Kamerik"

"Rondje Kamerik" is one of the shortest kayak routes near Woerden. It's just over 10 kms long and perfectly suited for an evening paddle tour. I regularly paddle this route with local kayak club Wyrda on Tuesday-evening (= the club-evening), but in the last few weeks I was often busy on Tuesday-evening and missed most of the club-paddles. The more I was happy to be on the water again with Paul and Guus. Paddling the route by daylight is even better as it is in darkness. It's a varied paddle through the canals in the city, through the industrial and rural parts of the river and through narrow ditches in the polder. This morning the weather and skies were changing every 5 minutes, which made the paddle even more varied. We chatted a lot along the route, about "important topics" like the Euro crises, kayak techniques and kayak politics, the latest smartphone gadgets and the most sustainable way to clean the toilet... I enjoyed a relaxed paddle in great company ;-)

Tracklog made by the Smartphone:

2011-12-02 10:01 Rondje Kamerik weergeven op een grotere kaart

A year ago "Rondje Kamerik"was snow-covered and looked completely different.