Healthy Beginnings

The Healthy Adventurer | October 2011

I began my healthy adventures in 1990. By combining bicycling, kayaking and hiking, I would eventually travel four times around the earth. I am 70 years old and have not been sick since 1972. It is never too late to live a healthy, active and adventuresome life, as you will read in this series of articles.

Kayaking through Siberia, Part 10

Then it dawned on me; the village had been abandoned. A lone dog, wagging its tail, approached. The poor thing must have been left behind. “Sorry Fido, I am in worse shape than you,” I said patting the animal…and the severity of my situation struck me harder.

What could I do? I would not survive a night in this condition. Building a fire in this rain would have been impossible for me. Should I break into one of those cozy homes and leave a note with some money behind for the damage I may cause? But, I could not get myself to do that. As I was to find a few hours later, my decision to continue with my kayak was a good one. Shivering, I hurried back to the boat and readied it for takeoff. Unfortunately, I had to reenter the rapids, which extended another 200 m down river. Again, the current was in control. Any navigational skills I may have were limited to keeping the bow in forward direction. Two huge rocks were coming up about 12 m apart. Just when I thought I would clear them, a flat rock, barely reaching the surface, appeared right in front. Too late! The bow hit it and the kayak slid partly on to it. A terrifying moment! I was stuck. Cautiously I climbed out of the boat. The rock was algae overgrown and slick. Slipping now would have disastrous consequences. Oh, don’t think of that now! There I stood, surveying the situation. It would be rather precarious to reenter a narrow kayak into the water, rushing around me on either side, and getting into my seat. Now, should I choose the right or the left? Both looked bad. To the right, there were more low level rocks; and to the left, the current was swifter. I had to act. This was the moment when I came closest to feeling fear.

To be continued…

With joyful passion for peace and health,

Hans, the Healthy Adventurer.