Autumn Worthsee Canoe Afternoon

On Saturday I bought a canoe. Spent a packet but I don't think I'll regret it. I did a lot of research. I also tested a number of boats over the last year. Canoe or kayak. Wood, inflatable or plastic. 2 seats or 3 seats. Secondhand or new. I eventually bought a Gumotex Scout inflatable canoe from Globetrotter in Munich.

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Advantages? Easily transported. Big enough for the whole family. Good for lakes, gentle rivers and even some easier white water apparently. Disadvantages? It takes fifteen minutes to set up and then put away. It could puncture. I even read on a forum that an object in the river could pierce the boat and impale you!

Yesterday we took our first trip. I picked up Elliot and Etienne from school at 12:00. They don't have school on Wednesday afternoons.

We headed 40km South-West out of Munich to Worthsee and parked in the village of Walchstadt. There's a small car park right next to a grassy, lakeside area. Worthsee was perfect for our first outing. Calm, warm water, no big tourist boats and lots of other people using canoes, kayaks or stand up paddle boards.

We practiced some strokes and got a feel for the boat before heading to the beach in Steinebach. In total we covered 3.2KM.  I really wanted to get an idea of how fast we could go on flat water. We're planning an overnight on the same lake in the Spring.

One Friday after school we will paddle 6km anti-clockwise around the lake from our laucnh point in Walchstadt to the campsite in Seefeld. The next morning, after breakfast, we will continue anti-clockwise around the lake for 6km to get back to the car. 


Walden Magazine

I’m always on the lookout for inspiring outdoor magazines. I found this copy of Walden at München Hauptbahnhof. It cost €7.50. And yes. It’s named  after the Thoreau novel. Read it! I was drawn to the matt paper, few advertisements, non-A4 format and some long form stories. The fonts, imagery and photos are also attractive. Similar to Like The Wind.

Their tagline is, “Abenteuer von der Haustür,” or “Adventure from the Frontdoor”. Perfect for me. I’m not into undertaking or even reading about epic adventures. Their logo includes a stag and two crossed paddles. Bodes well. I’m really getting into canoeing. As a long-time bike tourist I’ve found that being on the water is uber-peaceful in comparison.

In this issue there are ideas for outdoor activities in the rain, tips for dealing with bad weather from well-known adventurers, a guide on how to build a sauna, a hitchhikers diary, an illustrated recount of a hike along the Mosel valley, Autumn foraging and cooking advice and a story about a man with dementia and his son travelling the length of Finland.

In the Autumn issue there’s even a pull-out guide to cloud spotting in a neat Field Notes - style format.

My German is slowly improving. I'm building vocabulary by wading through with a dictionary at my side. It seems to be quarterly. I’ll get a subscription. It will compliment Outside Magazine and Outdoor Adventure Guide that I already subscribe to.

Tweet me if you can recommend other titles.

Thames Voyageurs Canoe Trip

Hopefully this Spring trip becomes a Muir family tradition. For once the French and English school holidays lined up and six of us set off for 2 days on the Thames.

We put in at Wargrave on Wednesday 19th April at about 13:00. We paddled all afternoon before camping, visiting the pub and cooking in Hurley.

The next morning we cooked bacon sandwiches and set off for Maidenhead. We arrived at about 14:00. Thanks Mum and Dad for the shuttles.

The trip was superbly planned and led by my brother Luke. He worked for years as a canoe instructor and has done this stretch of the Thames many times.

We used his huge Old Town boat. Easily big enough for two adults, my two sons, his daughter, his son and all our equipment.

The weather was perfect and as it was midweek there was very little other boat traffic. This was perfect for getting through locks stress-free.

Next year we'd like to do a Maidenhead - Windsor day trip and a two day trip from near Benson down to Hurley. Overnighting near Mapledurham.