Half-way January… childishly eagerly awaiting the mailman… The beast is arriving! Ding-dong! Hi mailman. Big box. Yeah. Boats in there. Boats? Yeah, never mind. Bye. Unwrapping. 2 boats. Yeah, one small boat for Joery, one big boat for us. Yellow blinking. Unfolding. Wooooow. How to inflate this thing? Oh, a bellow bag. Handy. That’s fast. Heart pounding. This is exciting. When can we go out to tame the beast!
Lazy sunday… Forecast predicts freezer temperatures for the coming week. Just before the water loozes its fluidity for a week or more, we go out for a couple of kms from our house and find a perfect spot for baptising the beast in an old cut-off meander of the mighty Schelde. Sunday joggers and passing mountainbikers put up a crazy frown. No it’s not E.T. phoning home, it’s 2 crazy Belgians going for a first float.
Why the hell an inflating boat? For us it’s a natural continuation of our wilderness travels. While backpacking in remote areas, we always are most afraid of crossing hurling waters. This is the safe answer. In stead of walking for days around the fjord, we can now cut it off… Backpacking is not only hiking, it does not stop on fluid boundaries. This is walking on waters. Float. Be free.
2.6kg for a 2-person boat. That’s 1.3kg per person. For the weight of a tent, we become amphibians. 1 kayak paddle. 4-piece. 2 pieces makes a blade for each of us. Paddling canoe style, that’s where we are going. A big thumb for Sven, from Packrafting.de. He did an excellent job in handling all business with Alpacka Rafts, clearing customs and providing us with all necessary advice in how to start with this thingy. Finishing Roman’s bible. It’s a splash. The unrigged explorer. It’s on. The ice is broken. Now we have to load our beast with our gear. Stay tuned.