I am driving to Germany in a couple of days with my kayak. It is cheating a bit doing the first part of the journey on the top of the car. I feel I ought to be setting out from home – after all the River Severn runs at the end on my street, it is only 100 metres away and it flows down to the sea.

In Germany I leave the car and start paddling down the Danube through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania to the Black Sea. The Danube flows through Vienna, Belgrade and Budapest. Since before Roman times it was the main transport route through this part of the world so the main towns were developed along its banks.

Here is a map –

How long will it take? 75 days
75 days of camping along the river bank. Bliss. Well hopefully.

Organisation? This is the 64th annual trip down the river. See https://www.tour-international-danubien.org for more details.

I have been working up my paddling muscles these past few weeks. But have I done enough? Probably not.

The River Severn is on my doorway. It is very handy. Some days the weather is just fantastic

But I have not been able to condition myself to 35° temperatures and the beating midday sun….

Bags of stuff

I borrowed a book on kayaking from the local library in Bolton when I was 14 that described the main kayaking routes across Europe and described the journey of someone along the waterways of Britain from Kendal to London. It fired my youthful imagination and it has been a dream of mine since that time.

So 56 years later, lucky old me, I get to achieve my dream.