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Thread: To beyond, and back from the back of beyond(?)

  1. #1
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    Default To beyond, and back from the back of beyond(?)

    Chaps,chapettes and all other categories of modern variable human
    I recently completed stage one of a 12,000 km canoe trip,(photographs pending)and am about to continue from Constanta, Romania,after descending the Danube
    I was advised,by the port,and the local constabulary,to continue in May,coastal hopping along the black sea to Sinemorets where i take a small river inland,including a roughly 100 mile portage,to connect with the Maritsa,which travels down the Greek/Turkish border.
    my question,after much preamble, being, has anyone canoed the coast from Greece to the Med? in whole or in part? I would be most grateful for any knowledge of these waters,as am unfamiliar but not without some modicum of experience
    Tally ho etc
    Worosei

  2. #2
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    Sorry, can't offer anything useful - but I would like to applaud you for what you have achieved so far. Will there be a book at the end of your epic journey? A.J. Mackinnon wrote a good one about his similar journey (wearing a pith helmet), in an aging Mirror dinghy, to the Black Sea. You'll find "The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow" in the Media/Book section of this forum. Tally ho Worosei.

    Regards,
    Nick

    Neris Valkure - 1. Folding kayak.
    Gumotex Twist N 1. Inflatable kayak.
    Gumotex Halibut. Inflatable kayak (but not for angling).

    http://nickayaker.blogspot.com

  3. #3
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    I'm looking forward to your account of this journey. Your route is interesting. I presume the Velikent and Maritsa allow you to avoid navigational (or administrative?) complexities of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. But you'll be missing some interesting history. I presume that's probably not the purpose of your trip, but while in the region I'd be very tempted to put my canoe somewhere safe for a week or two and visit Istanbul/Constantinople and Edirne/Adrianople—and perhaps the Gallipoli peninsula for the 1915 history.
    I am guessing that there will be some notable challenges along the Greek coast, with its many capes and currents. One of these will be the Athos peninsula. I wonder whether you could arrange to visit one or two of the monasteries while canoeing there. The Mani at the southern tip of Greece will presumably also be challenging. If you are interested in the accounts of others who have crossed Europe in adventurous ways, you could do worse than read Patrick Leigh-Fermor's account of setting out from the Tower of London steps in 1932 or 33 to cross Europe to Istanbul. The first of the Trilogy is called 'Between the Woods and the Water', the second, 'A Time of Gifts'. (The third was published posthumously on Leigh-Fermor's death a couple of years ago and I haven't managed to finish it—there was a reason he hadn't published it, which is that it was clearly not finished by his high literary standards.) Why do I mention this? Well Leigh-Fermor eventually built a house and settled in Mani (he also wrote an account of the region, 'Mani'), and were I paddling past, I'd be trying to stop there and visit.
    Of course Herodotus and Thucydides might make interesting companions for part of the trip, too. (And I guess you already encountered Ovid in Constanta?)
    Looking forward to hearing more about your inspiring journey.
    All the best with your preparations,
    Ian

  4. #4
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    I can't help you with specific advice on that coast, but having followed your Facebook posts throughout your cross-Europe journey, I'm sure your spirit and toughness will make it happen. The big change in outlook will probably be weather related, be prepared to simply sit out a few days.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  5. #5
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    Nick,
    outstanding book suggestion,i'll look in the library,particularly smitten with the pith helmet
    Fair weather

  6. #6
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    Ian
    excellent literary suggestions there so an avid bibliophile thanks you
    Fair winds

  7. #7
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    Mal
    Your comments/support/participation were much encouraging during the journey,so many thanks,I anticipate having to vary the distance with a reasonable amount of portaging,anticipating unfavorable wind direction or strength,I'm not opposed to be shorebound in idyllic locations supping cocktails whilst reclining on golden beaches,might make a change from the plastic bottle choked riverbanks of Bulgaria!
    Fair weather

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    having followed your Facebook posts throughout your cross-Europe journey
    Is there a link to this Facebook page, please? Long adventures like this are a great inspiration.
    Andrew (R.R.R.)

    ' Pas de leur
    Rhône que nous. '

  9. #9
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    I agree that this journey is very inspiring. And I would argue that if you're able to put up a blog (presumably after the event) in addition to a Facebook you will be potentially inspiring a whole extra tranche of people (some of whom prefer to avoid Facebook owing to a distaste for its habit of tracking one everywhere and selling information about you to advertisers).

    Separately, I've been reading Barry Cunliffe's book on 'The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek', and it occurred to me that like your shortcut up the Velikent and down the Maritsa to avoid the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, you might be interested in the potential route up the Aude and down the Garonne in order to avoid the busy shipping lanes of Gibraltar and the long Atlantic coast of Iberia (now linked by the Canal du Midi). Against the loss of the very interesting journey along the coast of Iberia, you would gain the possibility of following the 4th century BC Pytheas (in Cunliffe's reconstruction) and in the later stages of the Garonne the famous 1942 Op. Frankton folding canoe raid by the 'Cockleshell Heroes' against Bordeaux.

    Out of interest, where do you expect the journey to end (all going well)? Back to your starting point on the French coast (if I've remembered that right)?
    All the best,
    Ian

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Rother Rover View Post
    Is there a link to this Facebook page, please? Long adventures like this are a great inspiration.
    It was basically just his own Facebook page, so not sure if he'd want me to link it here publicly, as its not just about the trip. Andy posted updates most days he was away, but they're no longer at the top of his page, obviously.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  11. #11
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    Have a read of Tim Severin's books: the Jason Voyage, and the Ulysses Voyage - both on sailing a replica bronze age galley around those same waters. (After all a galley isn't much more than a glorified but underpowered canoe...)
    Very good reads in their own rite but also very good on the challenges of coastal travel in a small and basic boat.

  12. #12
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    I want to read your story of this trip.

    Sounds like a trip and a half plus quite a bit!

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  13. #13
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    Hi Mal,
    I'm okay with a link on here,I don't have much to hide,other than semi-illegitimate nature of my current anchorage,
    fair weather !

  14. #14
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    Good stuff Ian,
    the capacity of the prospector allows for quite a few books so i can stock up.The start and end point is St Malo,pretty much returning over partly the same outward leg
    Fair weather!

  15. #15
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    My dear chap
    I hope to take the Kamchia,just below Varna on the Black Sea,then the Luda Kamchia across Bulgaria to the Tundzha River which leads to the Maritsa and the Aegean,a novel approach i think to circumventing the Turkish conundrum,and potentially dangerous waters of any extended stay on the Black Sea,the journey from Constanta to Varna will,I imagine,be suitably flappy.
    thanks for the trilogy suggestion,I'll be sure to include them ,and a few others,in my kit,after all,why buy a prospector if not to carry extras?
    A book may be in the offing eventually,a useful aide memoire will be the plentiful supply of photographs taken to remind me of the various scrapes
    Fair weather
    Worosei

  16. #16
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    Good luck with the next section!
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  17. #17
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    Are you setting out again? If so, bon voyage and good luck!
    I look forward to hearing how you get on.
    Ian

  18. #18
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    Many thanks Mal,I depart on the 16th of May for the most challenging section and can't wait
    Fair weather

  19. #19
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    Thanks idc,
    The last 5,000 miles should be a good challenge,open water, spraydeck and a weather eye!
    All the best
    worosei

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