Late Autumn in the UK is normally wet and warm, and upon arrival to the UK, that is what I was greeted with wet and warm Autumnal weather. My first stop en route to Devon from Slovenia, was Palm Equipment near Bristol, to make a new boat, and look through some new product developments. Here’s a picture of BlueSky being made, she’s a beauty. I also managed to grab a sample of the new 2011 Palm Atom Dry top, to as you can see the Winter colour scheme is quite bright, and a long with BlueSky, makes for a sharp new look. I will say though from comments by the youth on the river, they seam to only like the dull colours, there so conservative these days, boring…..
Mark Rainsley Image
As you can see, and am sans crutches, after 12 weeks off them, then another 4 light use of the left leg, I was very pleased to leave them be hide. After a consultation at the hospital, it appears that trail running will no longer be a hobby of mine, shame really, as I like it. Well I can do it, but knee replacement surgery will follow shortly after, and that I was informed is an old person’s operation, as the replacement knee will only last 5 years of old person use, thus 1-3 years for myself, so that’ll be no walking by the time I am 42. So in Norsk “Helvete” is all I have to say on that matter. No impact sport is on the menu, enter stage right, a nice road bike for now, and a country cross mountain bike in the Spring. There is also some good news, in that pioneering knee surgery coming online is where parts of the knee can be replaced instead of the whole knee, so if I can hold off the impact sport for a while, this may be an option in my 50’s. Christ, I am needing to managed the rest of my life…..
Back to that rain in early November. Here’s Pete & Jeremy, Dartmoor local boys enjoying nice levels, (2 steps covered at Newbridge), on the Upper Dart. At this time we had 2 great runs down the West Dart into the Upper. A great welcome to Devon week. Hit this FB Video link to see the fun.
Along with wet paddling days, I enjoyed some of my imported food stuffs from Italy, here is another fine dish of Venison with Pappardella, themed on a Campertogno classic pappardelle del lepre, a firm favourite of mine, roll on May 2011, and the coming Valsesia River Festival
Well come mid November, the normal Atlantic westerly flows, STOPPED. And my new Sweet Sinner Down Jacket found not arrive fast enough, 1000g of down, mmmmmmm like an expedition sleeping bag fashioned as a jacket. There is normally a cold snap before the end of the year, but not in November and not for this length, some 3-4 weeks to date, and no end in sight until the New Year. A shocking state of affairs for any UK paddler. Still now under new management, the Church House Inn in Holne is a prefect English Pub, and it serves Butcombe Blonde, a fine pint of real ale, but it’s a larger, wonderful.
In amongst the cold snap, was our 8th annual Gene17 Adventure Paddler’s Weekend. We had Olaf come in for Friday Night at the Movies, plus a Saturday night full of talks and films, plus Cheesy played us out until the small hours. In spite the lack of rain, much ELF (Extreme Low Flow) paddling was had by the crowd, a Devonshire Cream Tea Cafe tour and homage to fine beer was had. We also showed Wild Water an amazing film from Anson Fogel, the filming is shoot to show fine action, and the subject, the content of why we paddle well explored. A little to yankie, but great now the less. Next year’s event is 2/4th December 2011.
Mark Rainsley Image
Mark Rainsley Image
News of the death of Hendri Coetzee, hit some in the paddling scene very hard. Hendri, was an explorer and a master word smith, living some 100 years too late to be a classic adventurer as held in historical record. Yet driven to explore, Hendri blazed many a trail of uncompromising exploration at the few last frontiers of the modern age. This alone singles him out, as one of the great adventure paddler’s of all time. Along with his adventures, Hendri’s insight to what framed his life, is best seen in his writings, wonderfully raw, and timeless, I have been reading through his words and insight, plus his recent blog updates. I paddled several times with Hendri, and he was always a powerful and quiet man, a student of paddling and a master of his world, he had a fantastic life, and he will be missed in many a corners of the world.
One last stop before my exit, and that was too the Supermarket to stock up on traditional Christmas food for the expat crowd in Lillehammer & Øyer. I have not had an English Christmas for some time, but mince pies, and christmas pudding is always a hit where ever I have Christmas day. This year, Satu and I will be in Tampere, Finland, before New year in Øyer, a white Christmas is certain, plus lots of time on my skis, more, a lot more rehab is needed.
It’s been another great year, in spite of drowning my car, breaking my leg twice and not getting to Voss for paddling as a result. Still a fine year, great times in the Alps in late Winter, Spring in Greece, another wonderful Italy season, and prefect, so prefect Norway. Alas the wheels turns and the seasons change….