It's seems unbelievable that we only arrived in Germany and started this crazy adventure 7 days ago. Since then we've paddle through blizzards, lugged our gear across snow covered fields to avoid weirs, taken on gnarly looking rapids and taken an unintended swim in the freezing cold water at least once. Daily photo and video updatesfrom our Facebook page (facebook.com/supthedanube) will soon be uploaded to our gallery page on the website but in the mean time here is a summary of what's been happening.
Getting to the source was a mission in itself involving 5 trains, a plane and lots of carrying & pushing all of our luggage. Danauseshingen (the source of the Danube) was a picture post card of snow covered fields set against a backdrop of rolling hills and forests that make up the Black Forest. Setting out on to the river for the first time our departure was celebrated by a beautiful snow shower which brought a still calm to everything around us.
Over the first few days the river twisted and turned as it traced its way along the bottom of the surrounding hills; weaving from one valley to the next. Being on the cusp of Spring means the river has for the most part retreated to the confines of it banks though the evidence of winter flooding is clear for us to see all around.
Our intention had been to paddle by day and then camp along the rivers banks at night, staying as connected as possible to the water at all times. A combination of the weather and water temperature has meant that this has not been possible so far meaning each night we have been flung in to the warm embrace of local guest houses we have hunted out along the way. Far from being a negative it's enabled us to meet some fantastic local people and see some beautiful small German villages.
Despite being on the river for only a few days we are already in awe of the beauty being shown to us by the ever changing landscape. We cannot wait to see what else the river has to show us.
However as we have said it certainly has thrown a few challenges our way and not being able to stay by the river at night really has changed the feel of our adventure. A couple of days ago after a particularly tough day we stopped, took stock and realised that it just wasn't working as we had hoped.
After much discussion we made the tough decision to place our journey on pause for a few weeks, and we will return in early May to pick up where we left off and carry on. We are both to an extent disappointed but know that it was the right choice to make. The next few weeks will see us go on individual adventures and we see this as a positive step forward. We've already learnt so much and this is just another leason, another step on the ladder.
The Just Giving page for Water Aid will stay live and the blog will continue once we're back on the water. Big thanks to everyone for your love and support, it means more to us than we can say.
We've totally got this. See you all again in May.