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Thread: Polish Canoe Expedition - A Prussian Adventure on the Obra

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    Default Polish Canoe Expedition - A Prussian Adventure on the Obra

    A Prussian Adventure


    Prelude

    Let me start by saying that for years my travel companion, Chris, and I have been keen outdoors types. We spend much of the spring and autumn wild camping across Scotland and this on-going search for different places to go, led us to take up this latest adventure. In June 2010 I read a brilliant canoe blog of the late travel writer, Lucinda Manouch, and her journey down the River Obra in Poland. The following link to her blog
    http://lucindamanouch.blogspot.com/2...in-poland.html will clearly explain why we then became so interested in completing this Canoe journey. While I must admit to never having considered Poland as a travel destination, my friend Chris is fiercely proud of his Polish roots and his Polish Grandfathers exploits at the battle of Monte Cassino. I knew Chris had never been to Poland so convincing him to go was never going to be a problem. I would also like to dedicate this blog to Chris’s Grandfather who sadly passed away 2 days after our return from Poland.

    Preparations

    We started to plan the trip by contacting Adventure Poland Canoe outfitters (the same Lucinda Manouch had used) and its incredibly helpful owner, Simon. From November 2010 to the day we left in August 2011 we must have exchanged dozens of e-mails with Simon to plan every aspect of the journey. We discussed equipment requirements, proposed itineraries, camping options, travel money, airport transfers and nothing was ever too much trouble. We were, however, faced with one massive obstacle: Neither of us could paddle!!!


    A little research on the brilliant Song of the Paddle forum convinced us that this was definitely something we really wanted to do. We joined the forum and were simply amazed by the open, friendly, generous and thriving open canoe community in the West of Scotland. A few trips on Castle Semple Loch with the Weirs (a couple we had met at a Forum event) and we were hooked!!! Formal tuition and safety training followed at the excellent Castle Semple Centre and suddenly the last remaining obstacle was gone.


    With the itinerary drawn up, pack lists complete, equipment ready, insurance organised, money changed and tickets booked we were ready and raring to go. The last few weeks before travel became an excruciating countdown to the 9th of August, our departure date. Our friends, loved ones and family all seemed to know that this trip promised to be a once in a lifetime experience that Chris and I would never forget…..and then the 9th of August arrived:



    Day 1 (Tuesday 9th August) – Glasgow to Poland


    Kit loaded we headed to Glasgow Airport to catch our Easyjet flight to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport.



    Arriving around lunch time we were met by our taxi driver, Janek, and another Polish passenger in the front seat of his taxi. We quickly explained the trip we had planned and that we had come from Scotland. No sooner had we mentioned this, the passenger bid the Taxi driver to pull over before pulling out a litre bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label Whisky! Neither Chris nor I drink whisky but we didn’t wish to offend our new found friend. I suppose it serves us right then, when presented with 2 enormous measures of Whisky, Little did we know but this would become indicative of the friendly and generous nature of the lovely Polish people we met.


    After our Whisky fuelled friend was dropped off we soon pulled up to a beautiful house near Stary Dworek but were concerned we had been dropped of at the wrong place before Simon shortly arrived in his Subaru. It transpired that this was his Father-in-law’s house where the canoes and equipment was stored. A quick inspection and we had picked out PFD’s, paddles and our chosen canoe, an Old Town Discovery 158. I know there may be many of you thinking this may represent a poor choice but “Olga”, as she affectionately became known, was the undoubted star of the trip, for reasons that will later become very apparent.



    A quick trip to a local supermarket and outdoor sports shop in Skwierzyna and we had the required provisions for the trip. Simon then dropped us off at a local wild camping spot next to the Obra which gave us the first opportunity to see the river we would spend the next 5 days descending. After decanting our bags and provisions I realised that I no longer had my waterproof jacket just as the drizzle started. Simon left and agreed to try the taxi company to locate my jacket, but failing this, would kindly lend me an old jacket he had that would at least give me a waterproof shell for the journey. A short walk and we found a great spot to set up our DD hammocks and get our dinner of tomato pasta and bacon on the go. A showery night cleared by the morning for our first full days paddling



    Day 2 (Wednesday 10th August) - Strzyzewo-Piaski to Lake Wielkie


    We broke camp after a quick breakfast of bacon rolls and coffee and made the short walk back to Simon’s Father-in-Laws house.



    The canoe and equipment was being loaded on the roof while we kindly got given a cup of tea in the house. Simon then took us to our put in point just outside the tiny village of Strzyzewo-Piaski where we fully organised the gear into dry bags and then into the canoe.



    Simon then left us to our own devices and agreed we would be in touch each evening to give him an update on our progress. After all the planning we were both strangely nervous about getting in the boat and what the next 5 days might bring. A shared bottle of Zubr (Bison) polish lager set aside our nerves and we were off.


    Chris and I, the equipment and provisions made the boat sit low in the water but felt steady along the calm, flat waters of the Obra. The Discovery’s fantastic carrying capacity and high freeboard made the perfect companion and a lower freeboard boat would not be suitable for the journey we undertook. After 500 metres of canal-like waters we encountered the first of many obstacles we would have to overcome over the next 5 days. Algae, Water-Lily’s had accumulated to form a solid barrier across the river that held the weight of several large branches that had fallen from the trees over-head. At first we attempted to simply plough through but despite our best efforts we only made it half-way before admitting defeat and reversed back out of the mire. A small drainage channel running parallel to the main flow gave us access beyond the blockage and a short haul over the bank and back into the river proper set us on our way. We both looked at each other with expressions of “what have we got into here?” before continuing our trip. An hour or so in and we were both beginning to understand how we worked well together in the boat and agreed that the early obstacle had showed us that with team-work and a little nousse we could overcome anything in our path.


    Herons were regularly now spotted along the waters edge before we entered the first of the major land marks along the route, Lake Lutol. The entrance to the Lake could not have been more spectacular as the shrill cry of a pair of White Tailed Eagles overhead had Chris and I besotted and rapidly falling in love with Poland’s wildlife and countryside. Travelling beyond the lake and approaching the town of Trzciel we decided to pull over for a spot of lunch of a delicious polish stew, Bigos, and a cheeky beer. A dilapidated picnic table and .a small wooden toilet complete with seat and accompanying hole were used before we set off again for Trzciel.



    On approaching and leaving Trzciel we encountered our first evidence of beaver-felled trees. A few of the birch, beech and oak trees at the side of the river displaying the tell-tale signs of the industrious little rodent. Both of us were significantly tiring upon entering Lake Wielkie, the first planned overnight stop of the trip. Although there were signs at the entrance to the lake of formal campsites we were keen to camp wild the whole journey. We found a nice little spot at the side of the Lake to pitch camp but given the flat terrain decide to use the tent for sleeping but a tarp to cook and relax under as the weather threatened to turn wet.



    Mosquitoes were prevalent at the waters edge but seemed fewer in number just 15 metres in-land where we decided to camp and have a small fire. While successfully keeping the mosquitoes away, 3 hornets decided to check out the fire and plummeted to a fiery demise. While collecting firewood away from the camp Chris and I clearly startled a boar as the signature grunt was heard by us both as it slipped off into the forest without us getting our first sight of one. We both slept well after a hearty meal and the excitement and exertions of the first day and 11.4 miles covered



    Day 3 (Thursday 11th August) – Lake Wielkie to Policko


    The previous night produced a few minor showers which held off the following morning as we ate our porridge for breakfast and broke camp. We set off northwest out of the lake before hitting the first of the major landmarks along the way, a bridge crossing the river at the lake exit and the showers began again but this time much heavier. We paddled for 90 minutes before getting to the first of our break points, an informal, state-run campsite at the rivers edge.



    These sites are free, very common along the river and offer excellent accommodation for those who wish to use them. Again they contain some basic picnic benches and a wooden toilet that we took advantage of. We hauled the boat out of the river to have a look around and take cover from the rain under an enormous old Oak tree. We took along an old rubberised poncho which served us excellently to cover the bags when the weather was wet and was well used this morning in order to keep our kit dry.



    As we set off again our pace was good and the rain let up for the first time as the sun came out and we really enjoyed this calm, unobstructed portion of the river. We pulled out for lunch just before the campsite at Ransko and immediately got a great example of recent beaver activity! A swift lunch and customary beer and we were back on the water and making great progress to our over night stop past the village of Policko.



    This section of river was strewn with fallen trees but nothing that could not be overcome with good teamwork and communication and certainly nothing that would require us to get out of the boat or rock the boat over a log. This stretch of the river was very popular with local fishermen so we had to be careful of spotting their floats and restrict paddle splash when passing their section of river. All were courteous and offered a wave and a “hello”. In Policko a man in his garden became pretty animated when we passed on the river but we neither had the time, language or inclination to establish exactly what he was saying before cruising past and into the woods that would become our home for the evening.




    A particularly pretty section of pine wood was our chosen campsite and we soon had the hammocks strung up before making dinner and writing our diary for the day. The weather had turned very warm and still but unfortunately this made for a very uncomfortable night with the mosquitoes that were at there worst this night for our whole time in Poland. The built in mozzy nets on the hammock made our nights sleep that much more comfortable after another 11.5 miles covered.




    Day 4 – (Friday 12th August) Policko, through Miedzyrzecz to Swiety Wojciech


    After a bit of a lie-in we prepared a quick breakfast or porridge and dried fruit before breaking camp and moving through what we both agreed was the most beautiful part of the river so far. The sun was out as we reached our first breakpoint at Zolwin and our progress was good with largely unobstructed rivers. Progress in this section of river was swift with few exceptions when we slowed at sections used by fishermen.



    It was with a little surprise that we arrived at our lunchtime stop in Miedzyrzecz early. Miedzyrzecz is the busy capital town of the area with a population of around 12,000 people. A large school and town hall sits on the southern bank of the river and we took advantage of some steps leading out of the river to pull on our waterproofs as the heavens opened. Miedzyrzecz was pretty town and under the main bridge we approached a beautifully restored 13th Century Castle surrounded by shaded parkland.



    It wasn’t long before we left this behind and reached Swiety Wojciech where a particularly pretty Church drew our attention.



    A rather inquisitive Red Squirrel stared at us from the river bank and stunning blue/black dragonflies were constant companions along this section of river. As progress had been so good in this section of the river we decided to press our advantage and eat our lunch of cabanosi sausage and beer on the water but did stop for a while to take a break and wash some clothes.


    Without exception the afternoon section of the river was breath-takingly beautiful but also the most challenging of the whole trip. The river became much more winding with large obstacles crossing the whole river at almost every turn. Chris and I threw ourselves with relish at this section, negotiating each obstacle like a puzzle to be solved at every corner.



    Large beaver-felled trees created natural bridges with which we could pass under but more often we were required to power the boat onto the semi submerged trunks to then rock them over the other side with Chris often leaving the seated position to stand at the bow in order to give the required leverage to get beyond each obstacle. For this reason alone, many other canoes would not suffice and the Discovery’s bomb-proof build made this boat the only choice for this journey. Many tree trunks could not be overcome this way and the boat was passed under the trunk while each paddler in turn was required to step onto the trunk and then back into the boat once the seated position had passed under the log.


    A short distance before the Gorzyca Campsite and at a double obstruction in the river we decided to haul out the boat and take advantage of a stunning sandy beach at the side of the river.



    After setting up the tent, I took advantage of the shallow sandy waters edge to have my first bath in 4 days and hang up the washing! The evening sunshine and camp devoid of mosquitoes made our dinner of sausage and noodles very enjoyable. As the sun went down we got into the tent for some evening entertainment and watched the film “4 Lions” on Chris’s handheld games system. Checking the map before bed we realised a productive day saw us cover almost 14 miles of our journey.



    Day 5 (Saturday 13th August) - Swiety Wojciech to Lake Bledzew


    At 4am in the morning Chris and I were awakened in darkness by loud polish voices and head torch lights. Concerned we had camped somewhere we shouldn’t have, I poked my head tentatively out the tent to see 3 kayakers crashing over the obstacles in the river and blasting off down the river and having a whale of a time. Back to sleep and we were again awoken at 6am by a very different noise. The roll of an approaching thunderstorm was accompanied by huge flashes of fork lightning. Counting the gaps between the thunder and lightening it was very clear the storm was getting closer as the rain began hammering on the tent roof. The distant sky looked clear so we were both confident that the storm would soon pass so continued to snooze while keeping a close eye on the river levels which thankfully didn’t change throughout the storm.


    At around 9.30am the storm had passed and the sun broke out again on the river. We had made good progress the previous day so after a lazy morning we had just started cooking our porridge and coffee for breakfast when Polish voices could be heard coming down the river. We decided to do our bit for international relations and help these kayakers over the large obstacles in the river by helping to haul to the boats out of the river. 2 kayaks arrived with an older gentleman and 3 late teenagers. They were very appreciative of the help we provided and we decided to extent some generosity and invite them to rest at our camp and enjoy a beer we offered them. A great ice breaker resulted in us all having a fantastic laugh and sharing a beer at 11 O’clock in the morning. Not to be outdone, Piotr, the older gentlemen decided to crack open a bottle of local Vodka which Chris and I were happy to try.



    It was a good 45 minutes later when they left us to continue their journey onto Lake Chycino.


    With our heads buzzing from the early morning alcohol, we quickly finished our breakfast and broke camp in the glorious sunshine. The river picked up where we had left off with large obstacles providing hours of fun for Chris and I to negotiate. We quickly passed the Gorzyca campsite which contained large wooden cabins, bar and outdoor picnic area and would make a fantastic stop for anyone looking for a “touch of civilisation” in the polish countryside.




    After 90 minutes we had easy caught up and overtaken the group we had shared a drink with and another couple of groups who had started at Gorzyca. In a lovely broad section of the river we caught the first and only sight of a beaver we had on the holiday.



    The industrious little creature crossed speedily across our path in the river before diving into the undergrowth and out of sight. We stopped for a brief toilet break in order to maybe catch another glimpse of the beaver but to no avail and we were soon back on the river for another hour in calm clear waters.


    It wasn’t long before the river opened out and a large bridge crossed the river, blocking access to the entrance to Lake Bledzew.



    We hauled out and stopped for lunch of a polish stew made from beans and bacon and a few slices of bread. Many of the earlier groups passed us while we stopped for lunch as they hauled their much lighter kayaks around the bridge and back in the other side. After washing our dishes we hauled our increasingly lighter boat over the portage and back down into the entrance waters of Lake Bledzew, our intended destination for the evening. These broad sections of water were littered with broad expanses of lily-pads and bull rush with geese and swans nesting at the waters edge.



    Fishermen lined the shoreline 30 metres or so apart enjoying the afternoon sun. Prior to our journey we had identified an island at the centre of the lake as a potential camp spot and as we entered the lake proper the tree covered island came into view with a number of small jetties protruding into the water. We made our way to one such spot and tied up the boat before discovering the woods beyond to find the perfect spot for our tent. After setting up camp in the early afternoon sun the lake took on a fantastic feel with polish families and young people enjoying the weekend in small wooden huts around the lake. Music, singing and the sound of laughter filtered across the lake to our island home and we both fell in love with the place. It wasn’t long before we both agreed to contact Simon and postpone our pick up the following day in order to stay another day on the lake to recharge the batteries after another 11 miles covered. We settled down at night to watch the sun go down over the lake.




    Day 6 (Sunday 14th August)– Lake Bledzew



    6am and we heard a fisherman arrive on the island with his boat, 2 dogs and haul ashore, unable to get back to sleep I awoke to gentle morning sunshine beaming on our jetty. I took these quiet moments to sort a coffee and stare out over the mirror calm lake and the swans gliding across its surface in the distance. With nothing planned for the day we enjoyed a late breakfast after Chris awoke and spent a lazy day enjoying the sunshine.



    Around midday, I took the opportunity to do a little solo paddling and took “Olga” for a journey around the western part of the lake while Chris read a book in the sun. While exploring the lake edges I noticed many small wooden huts of all shapes and sizes which looked like holiday homes. One larger hut had a big Coca Cola sponsored umbrella outside and I saw many people going in an out with pints of lager. I was sure that this was a pub but later Chris joined me in a paddle around the lake and agreed it was actually someone’s holiday home, thankfully we never turned up and asked for a pint!!! A movie in the evening sun finished the day off after a very lazy day on our island get-away.



    Day 7 (Monday 15th August) – Lake Bledzew to Lubniewice


    After agreeing to meet Simon at 1pm at our pick up point at Bledzew Bridge, we packed up and enjoyed a quick breakfast of coffee and dried fruit before packing the boat for the last time. We headed northwest across the lake to the Obra’s exit of the lake. Upon approaching the river entrance we noticed a formal campsite at the end of the lake and a large dam across the lake which would require us to portage.



    The dam was part of a pre-war hydro electric system that is still in operation today. Like so many of the German-built buildings in this part of Poland the architecture was fantastic with a dramatic yellow round-house operating room on the top floor. Upon exiting the lake, clearly marked signs direct canoeists to the put in point about 30 metres away. At this point a few kayaks were waiting to re-enter the river when we got speaking to a polish group who we had discussed our trip with. They advised us to take a look at Lake Chycino, south of Lake Bledzew, and it must be said several people along the journey advised us to do the same.


    Thanking our new-found friends for their advice we jumped back in the river to complete the final 45 minutes of paddling to Bledzew bridge. The river still remained littered with fallen trees but never where the entire river was blocked making the final 45 minutes great fun and a fitting end to our journey. We were running half an hour early before being picked up so took the time to stretch our legs and take some photos when Chris stood on a snake, which we now believe was a female slow worm.



    Shortly after, Simon arrived to take the canoe back to his father-in-laws house and return the hired equipment. Thereafter it was to a guest house in Lubniewice which amazingly only cost us 35zloty per night each (£8). With shared kitchen and bathroom, the bedroom was a twin room which was spotlessly clean with a balcony that looked over the gardens which were beautiful.



    A much need shower followed and we were soon feeling human again before walking 5 minutes into Lubniewice. The town is very pretty with a palace on the lake, beautiful churches, parks and charming square with fountain and restaurants. After sampling all the main polish beers throughout our trip it was nice to take a seat in the square for a cold pint of Zywiec, my favourite (Chris preferred Tyskie). One pint quickly became 5 so we decided to order some food. We both had wild boar dishes, Chris with a mushroom and creamy sauce and mine with a cherry sauce. Both dishes were delicious like all of the food we tried in Poland.



    We then decided to walk off our dinner by taking a walk around the town and found Lubniewice to be a stunning little town. Back to the pub, many more drinks were enjoyed as the sun went down on what was one of the best trips of our lives.




    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  2. #2
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    Default Epic !

    Hi Andy,

    What a fantastic blogg. Lots of good narrative as well as some great pictures. After hearing about it before your trip and now reading your account, its got to be a serious option for our next overseas trip.

    See you soon.
    Robbie & Steph

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger-Paddlers View Post
    Hi Andy,

    What a fantastic blogg. Lots of good narrative as well as some great pictures. After hearing about it before your trip and now reading your account, its got to be a serious option for our next overseas trip.

    See you soon.

    Cheers guys, without your help, support and enthuism it may never have happened and your generosity in lending me equipment and teaching me prior to the trip is greatly appreciated. See you Friday!!!
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Ah, that is fantastic. I remember Lou's blog well, & it inspired me to put Poland on the to-do-list....where it still sits. Its now bumped up a few notches though!

    M
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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    Really enjoyed reading about your trip. Thanks for posting it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Ah, that is fantastic. I remember Lou's blog well, & it inspired me to put Poland on the to-do-list....where it still sits. Its now bumped up a few notches though!

    M
    Mal, i can't recommend it enough..... if it helps persuade you.,the trip including spending money, equipment hire, transfers etc (everything) - cost under £400 for the week.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Quote Originally Posted by elveys View Post
    Really enjoyed reading about your trip. Thanks for posting it.
    Glad you enjoyed
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaffinch View Post
    Mal, i can't recommend it enough..... if it helps persuade you.,the trip including spending money, equipment hire, transfers etc (everything) - cost under £400 for the week.
    Hmm. Now you've gone & done it....recent car issues mean I'm probably going to have to put off a planned bigger trip next year for another year....but £400 is well within reach! So, who fancies it for 2012?
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Hmm. Now you've gone & done it....recent car issues mean I'm probably going to have to put off a planned bigger trip next year for another year....but £400 is well within reach! So, who fancies it for 2012?

    I too have BIG car issues at present but after reading this blogg a 2012 paddle is sounding good (so long as I get back in one piece from kking in the French Alps)


    Paula

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    Inspiring blogg, a nice 'escape' from sitting at my desk all afternoon

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    Thank you for such a wonderful, well written, blogg.

    Kelly(philosophist) and I loved our canoe trip in Poland and this blogg has brought back great memories of our time paddling the river Brda, in 2007.

    Thanks once again for posting.

    Fred & Kelly

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    Sounds like an excellent trip,

    Glad you didn't need any of the rescue stuff,

    look forward to more of the same type of blogg now
    JD
    He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide, It's not the destination, It's the glory of the ride

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemec View Post
    Sounds like an excellent trip,

    Glad you didn't need any of the rescue stuff,

    look forward to more of the same type of blogg now
    Cheers John, Nearly had to use the brace once. Nasty underwater log caught me off guard and nearly put us in the drink but thankfully "Olga" kept us safe
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutmaster View Post
    Thank you for such a wonderful, well written, blogg.

    Kelly(philosophist) and I loved our canoe trip in Poland and this blogg has brought back great memories of our time paddling the river Brda, in 2007.

    Thanks once again for posting.

    Fred & Kelly
    Thanks for your kind words. We are definately going back.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    that's a great trip and excellent blogg. you certainly put poland on the map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scoutmaster View Post
    Thank you for such a wonderful, well written, blogg.

    Kelly(philosophist) and I loved our canoe trip in Poland and this blogg has brought back great memories of our time paddling the river Brda, in 2007.

    Thanks once again for posting.

    Fred & Kelly
    Oooohhh, not heard of the Brda. Did you do a blogg as we are already looking at next years plans?.....
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Excellent blog.

    I love to see somewhere different.

    Looks like a good place to explore.

    Thanks!


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    cracking blog, I've fancied poland for a trip for a while

    happy paddling

    andy

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    Great blogg fella, Poland's not one of those places you think about paddling but looks like you guys had a great time. Any where with good beer and food gets my vote. Good stuff!
    Cheers,

    Alan


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    Default A Prussian Adventure....

    looks an epic trip with excellent support photos and narrative.The great food and drink Poland offers is something i am familiar with and it is braw,yes inspirational this iswillie
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    some chord that will vibrate in eternity"

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    Great blogg of a great trip. And a bargain too
    John

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    Truly superb blog and greta photos too. What a way to pass some time.

    TGB
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    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

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    excellent blogg, excellent and well priced trip.

    Fond memories of Lucinda as well, her original solo trip of this river was and still is an inspiration.

    Alan L.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juno2 View Post
    excellent blogg, excellent and well priced trip.

    Fond memories of Lucinda as well, her original solo trip of this river was and still is an inspiration.

    Alan L.
    I couldn't agree more, Lucinda's journey was amazing.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

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    Fantastic blog chaps, nice photo's and as others have said, a welcome reminder of Lou.

    Wilf
    Bacon sarnie anyone ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilf_williams View Post
    Fantastic blog chaps, nice photo's and as others have said, a welcome reminder of Lou.

    Wilf
    Thanks Wilf. Glad you enjoyed the blogg. already looking at options for my next trip!!!
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  28. #28
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    Nicely done!

    I am always amazed that you folks over there manage to make all the arrangements necessary for such adventures - here, I just look at a map & go.

    Do you guys (or one of you at least) speak Polish? Or, do folks there speak English? Just curious.

  29. #29
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    Wow, great blog with great photos to match.

    Thanks for posting this
    Keltoi and associates - The sick and the wrong!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8r View Post
    Nicely done!

    I am always amazed that you folks over there manage to make all the arrangements necessary for such adventures - here, I just look at a map & go.

    Do you guys (or one of you at least) speak Polish? Or, do folks there speak English? Just curious.
    Hi Sk8r,

    We had a little Polish knowledge through Chris's family and we took along a Polish phrase book. Chris and I both speak German (badly) and being in the old part of Germany, we figured that we could get by in a combination of Polish and German. It worked a treat!!

    "Dwa Piva" - is the key phrase - 2 Beers!!!!

    It should be noted for others thinking of going that this is not a particularly touristy area (other than Polish holiday makers) so alittle Polish phrase book is a good idea. The older generations will speak Polish and alittle german. The younger people we met could speak Polish, german and english too.

    Andy
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  31. #31

    Default Fantastic report and pictures

    Wow! Poland!!!

    Great trip, excellent pictures, and a fantastic report. THANKS.

    This river is certainly now on my must-do list of places.

    Easyjet fly to Berlin from my local airport so flights will be very cheap too :-)

    P.S. What are those deserts you have in front of you? They too look great.
    Last edited by canoepaddler; 25th-August-2011 at 09:23 PM. Reason: thought of a question

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaffinch View Post

    It should be noted for others thinking of going that this is not a particularly touristy area...
    You sold it to me!!!
    Keltoi and associates - The sick and the wrong!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kernow Paddler View Post
    I too have BIG car issues at present but after reading this blogg a 2012 paddle is sounding good (so long as I get back in one piece from kking in the French Alps)


    Paula
    Paula,

    Put it at the top of your wish list as the forests in Poland will take your breath away. Think, ancient deciduous forest bursting with life of all shapes and sizes

    Andy
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by canoepaddler View Post
    Wow! Poland!!!

    Great trip, excellent pictures, and a fantastic report. THANKS.

    This river is certainly now on my must-do list of places.

    Easyjet fly to Berlin from my local airport so flights will be very cheap too :-)

    P.S. What are those deserts you have in front of you? They too look great.
    hehe, the desserts were good. Chris had a warm forest berry dessert with ice cream and mine was huge pancake with summer fruits and cream - YUM!
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by packman View Post
    looks an epic trip with excellent support photos and narrative.The great food and drink Poland offers is something i am familiar with and it is braw,yes inspirational this iswillie
    Willie, Thanks for your nice comments. The only things i never really got to capture was details of the forests along the river. Think Ancient enchanted forest bursting with life and sound and colour!!! I don't know how to explain but the forests FELT old. You could see very mature trees but their was a premeval vibe that is really special.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  36. #36
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    Default More Photos

    Hi Guys,

    I have also produced a YouTube clip with more photos. We really struggled to get a good idea of what the Obra looked like when doing research on the trip. These extra piccies might help you if your thinking of going

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDEwySxYB6I

    Andy
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  37. #37
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    Great to see a blogg like that, never thought about Poland but by the looks of it it might just be within reach

    "Pedal five hundred miles on a bicycle and you remain basically a bourgeois; paddle a hundred in a canoe and you are already a child of nature" - Pierre Trudeau

  38. #38
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    Fantastic blogg of a wonderful place.... Thanks for posting!
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

  39. #39
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    I really enjoyed reading your blog. Great pictures and excellent trip report.

    I liked the bit about helping the kayakers and cracking open a bottle of Polish vodka!

    Looks like a great adventure and nice to see somewhere different.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lynne
    All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynne View Post
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. Great pictures and excellent trip report.

    I liked the bit about helping the kayakers and cracking open a bottle of Polish vodka!

    Looks like a great adventure and nice to see somewhere different.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lynne
    Thanks Lynne,

    Drinking vodka with the Poles at 10.30 in the morning was definately a highlight of the trip but PLEASE DEONT TRY THIS AT HOME, FOLKS.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  41. #41
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    For those interested in doing this trip i have electronic copies of itinararies, pack lists, maps, cost and contact details should you want them.
    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit."

  42. #42
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    Don't knock the Old Town Discovery. I have a 17'4" version, great expedition craft. Canoes sails, carries all the kit you could want, solo or double & I found it originally wrapped around a tree sunk in a river, but after a few repairs living on still.

    You can see it in action here :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INBG0wfOfVQ

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