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Monday, 10 October 2016

If this is Monday it must be Slovakia

After a short train journey from Vienna, I was in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. After quickly checking into my hotel, I headed for a paddle. Bratislava is only 65km downstream the Danube from Vienna. I was hoping for a paddle on the Danube and had found a SUP hire shop close to the river. So far so good ................

The shop was open, I hired an iSUP in rucksack and the shopkeeper kindly gave me directions to a good spot to get on the water. It was a small side channel to the Danube, on the western side of the city, not far from the Austrian border, with an opening on to the Danube itself. I wasn't
entirely sure of the directions so he even more generously arranged for a friend of his to walk me down and show me a good spot to leave the pump and rucksack while I was on the water. So far so good ...............

The only problem was that when I inflated the board there was no leash.The side channel was shallow and the water static so I decided this would not be a problem for me. I paddled up the side channel towards an opening onto the main river. It was a lovely autumn day. Warm enough for a paddle with shorts and a hoodie. I has only some ducks and a few rowers for company.

But guess what? The Danube was flowing fast. Very fast indeed. I was incredibly tempted to get on. But I had no leash. No wetsuit. And no flotation device. I had no choice but to stay off the main river. If  I came off the board I would have no chance of getting back onto it. I was confident I could swim to the bank of the river if need be, but without a leash, the hired board would be gone. Even if I made it to safety, the board would be heading to Romania, and the Black Sea, 1000 miles away! I was restricted to paddling the side channel.

I tried not to be too disappointed, at least it was a pleasant day. Beautiful surroundings and peace and quiet again right in the middle of a major capital city.  But it was more unfinished business. I will definitely return to Bratislava one day to paddle the Danube.

Why don't you come with me ......................

October 2016

1 comment:

  1. How annoying! Sensible decision though to keep you and the board safe.


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