Paddling through Masuria: Riding the crystal clear wave

in Pinmapple5 months ago

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We are in Poland, a country near and far away at the same time. What adventures are waiting there? Today we are starting our tour on the Krutynia, the most beautiful paddling river in Europe. 100 kilometres on the water, far away from any civilisation. Follow me on board. 

You can read the first part here, second here3 here and 4 here and the 5 here, 6 here

The most colors are greenThe most colors are green

It doesn't get much nicer than this. No sooner is everything stowed in the boats, beer, food, tents, mats, tarpaulins, bags, waterproof sacks, than a rain comes down. Krutynia, here we come! It takes, fortunately in a dry place, until the rain front has passed. Now the lake lies in the sunlight, the reeds sway in a breeze. Not too hot and not too cold, so off we go on our adventure on Lake Lampackie, the first in an endless chain of lakes, streams and creeks that we will complete.

It’s more walking in the water at the beginningIt's more walking in the water at the beginning

It takes some skill to find the reed-covered exit to the first stream, which leads to the next lake. But the ride through the little stream, which is barely two meters wide in places, makes you forget the tedious search. But what is a trip? It is a water hike. The stream is so shallow that the Canadian boat is constantly sitting up. All that's left is to push, feet groping through the water, slowly moving forward, past fallen trees and through thickets that always seem impenetrable at first.

Some trees are to passSome trees are to pass

Through the greenest vegetation

The boats meander through the greenest vegetation, in places the water is no deeper than a soup plate, fallen trees lie in the way and stones cause the boat to touch down. Birds chirp, the rain has subsided, the sun shines through the treetops. Then the view opens through the waving reeds to the next lake: the sun shines over blue water, swans and ducks circle the canoes, fish jump and a few paddle strokes away a bivouac site is waiting. There are not too many of them, but there are no people around.

One of many swansOne of many swans

Our group is the only one doing the tour, only occasionally we meet day-trippers who greet us in a friendly way. They are always Poles, although the Masurians are supposed to be Europe's most popular padel area. No one from abroad is on the road here, certainly no one who tackles the entire 100 kilometers. Only an old man meets us again and again in the next days, all alone he zooms with his kayak through the waves, in the evening he sits in his tent, drinks a beer and is at 21 o'clock in the horizontal.

My view fromt the cockpitMy view fromt the cockpit

Swans and Sea Eagles

We enjoy the trip. The weather holds, although a few clouds always threaten, but in between the sun comes out. In the reeds on the right and left the birds sing, the swans politely go away when they see our flotilla coming. Sea eagles circle in the sky, cranes stand out of dead trees and stare at us. The water lilies flash yellow from the green, sometimes white, and the water is so transparent that you think you can see all the way to the center of the earth. It glitters like diamonds down there.

Always look at the bright side of lifeAlways look at the bright side of life

It goes on like this for hours, and it could go on for hours. But we don't want to arrive in one day, we want to enjoy the route. We look to the right, we look to the left, everywhere reeds, dense and hardly penetrable. But then a piece of meadow appears. Everything is ready for a wonderful evening: a fireplace, wood, even a very primitive toilet house.

Rest for the boatsRest for the boats

A welcome beer

The meadow belongs to Jacek, who usually grazes his cows here. When paddlers set up their tents, however, the large black-and-white cows only look over once with curiosity before moving on to the pasture behind the hill. Jacek charges ten zloty per tent (two euros), plus a welcome beer.

Polish beers are good beersPolish beers are good beers

How far away the world is, seen from here, is shown by his reaction to being told where his new guests come from. He doesn't know any German cities, not even Berlin? Shrug. Another sip of beer. He's gone, not without having briefly fished out a fish with the fishing rod that had been held helplessly in the lake until then. That's how it's done!

One boat before usOne boat before us

It is the great deceleration that comes with water hiking on the Masurian Lake District as if by itself. Shortly before the start of the high season, the lakes are empty, hardly any people encounter the early paddlers, but herons and buzzards by the dozen.

Sometimes the river narrows, sometimes he is wide - like hereSometimes the river narrows, sometimes he is wide - like here

The huge area in former East Prussia presents itself in spring-like signal colors, while the villages along the route still appear in post-socialist gray. Europe's last primeval forest seems to have fallen out of time. Only a few signs indicate that the idyll is about to undergo a general overhaul: The EU has announced its intention to pump millions in subsidies into the structurally weak area in the coming years.

On the lake the view is wideOn the lake the view is wide

Canoeing and culture

The experience on the crystal clear water and the nights spent at tidy bivouac sites, where there is always enough wood for a campfire, compensates for the endless journey to teh east. 103 kilometers long is the paddling route on the Krutynia River, which leads from Sorkwity to Mikolajki. If you want to combine canoeing and cultural exploration, you can get from the starting point to the end in Krutyn, where most boat rentals are located, in five days without any effort.

It’s quiet when the evening comesIt's quiet when the evening comes

Canoes here cost about 80 euros a week, the price includes transportation to the starting point and pickup from the destination. Food and drinks for a week fit easily in the canoe and in the evening there is enough time to cook.

Info on the web: (no affiliate)

Thank you for reading and if you like my work please follow me          on HiveTravelfeed or Steem or visit my homepage

A few more pictures for you:

Have you ever seen a nature like thisHave you ever seen a nature like this It is water over the plantsIt is water over the plants Walking the water with the boatsWalking the water with the boats The fireplaceThe fireplace The sundown in redThe sundown in red You need a hat and plastic shoesYou need a hat and plastic shoes
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