Day 24: 24. May 2013

[gw] At 3:15 am I woke up with pain from my right kidney.

The next 2 hours I walked slowly up and down and watched the sun come up. Then I very slowly packed my things and started today’s tour at 6:15am.

The only aim today was to reach Germany and sleep in a nice bed.

The river at this time was really calm and peaceful.

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At 7:30am I reached the first lock of the day and I was surprised that they were already operating. So I was through after only 15 minutes.IMG_1116

The pain was almost gone by now and I passed the next lock without delay at 9:15 am.

To get rid off my last Czech money I stopped at a yacht harbor and went shopping.

Suddenly at noon a strong breeze came up, and was getting so strong that I was almost going backwards. Because the way to Germany was further than I expected, I decided to go on by bike.

I found a place to unload the canoe, disassemble it and put it on the trailer. That took 2 hours and I was on my way again.

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The next hours I cycled along the Elbe. Most of the time the road was flat and easy. After passing Decin it was around another 10km to the German border.

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At 6:30pm I passed the border and was back in Germany. One hour later I found a nice room for the night in Krippen.

After a nice shower I got a schnitzel to eat and after a very long day I was happy to sleep in a warm bed.

Day 24: 23km canoe  62,92 km bike   Bike: 555km   all: 773km

Day 23: 23. May 2013

[gw] After a good night without pain I cycled back to my tent, packed all my things and was finally on the river again.IMG_1053

It was already afternoon but the river was flowing pretty fast, and so I reached the next lock two hours later.IMG_1066 IMG_1070

The lock was no problem and the second one 10 km further was very easy too.

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At 7pm I found a nice place along the river to camp for the night.

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After setting everything up, eating and doing some computer-work, I was ready to go to bed.

Day 23: 26,73 km canoe   all: 687 km

Day 22 : 22. May 2013

[gw] At 1:30 in the night I woke up and had to take a pee. When I crawled back into my sleeping bag I felt a pain in the right side above the pelvis. First I thought it was a muscle cramp.

The pain was getting stronger by the minute and I could not lie or stand in any position to make it more bearable.

I knew I had to do something. So I took my bag, my GPS and my emergency beacon and started to walk away from the tent.

My tent was in a remote area and I thought my only chance to find help would be at the big electricity power plant.

I had to cross a field to reach a small road which took me to the entrance of the power plant.

It was more than a kilometer, and I had to stop many times because of the pain.

Finally, I reached the entrance and I could somehow make the night guard to call an ambulance. He offered me a chair and while waiting the pain was getting very intense. So I ended up on the floor and finally after a long time (20 mins) the ambulance came.

They got me into the ambulance and after 3 tries they managed to find a vein and give me an infusion. I don´t know what they gave me but it was for sure no pain-killer. The only concern of the ambulance crew was if and how I can pay the bill.

After 20 mins we reached the hospital and I was brought to a doctor. He did not think it was a cramp. He gave me something for the pain and I was put on a wheelchair and pushed to another doctor for a sonography. They found out pretty fast that I had a kidney colic.Bild

Finally the pain-killer kicked in and the pain slowly eased off.

I was put in a nice room with 2 beds and I was able to get some sleep. By now it was past 6 am.

After about 8 am or 9 am I had to change the bed and go to a 4 bed-room with already 3 beds occupied. I guess the nice room was reserved for some kind of private insured person.

A doctor came who could speak fairly good German and explained me the situation. I had some “sand” in the ureter. He said, after another infusion I could leave the hospital in the afternoon.

After all the papers were done, it was past 1 pm and finally I was allowed to go. I went to a drugstore to by the pills the doctor prescribed me.
I felt pretty good and made a small sightseeing tour through Melmik.

Then I found a taxi to take me back to the power station. From there I had to find my tent. I had to walk across high wet grass, so my trousers were soaking wet afterwords.

But I did not care, because my tent and everything else was still there.

I slept 2 hours and when I woke up I felt the pain again.

I decided to get my bike out of my canoe, pack some valuable stuff and ride back to Melmik to look for an hotel.

I found only a camping ground, but they had also some rooms to let.

After a warm shower and a warm bed the pain started to come back in the evening.

I went to the reception and they ordered a taxi to take me back to the hospital.

At the hospital I gave them the papers I got from the doctor, so they new immediately what to do. After two infusions it was better again and I could go back to my room.

I was back at midnight and had a good sleep.

Day 21: 21. May 2013

[gw] I left Adam’s apartment at 11 am and wanted to go 30 km up north to set up the canoe.

First I had to climb out of the Moldau valley. After that it was pretty flat and after 3 hours I reached the Moldau past its last dam.IMG_0981IMG_1001

It took exactly 1:30 hours to set up and load the canoe. The river is very fast in this area, between 5 to 8 km/h.

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After one hour the river Moldau joins the Elbe (Labe) near the town of Melmik.

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I read somewhere that there are no dams at the Elbe. So I thought there will be no locks anymore. After one hour of paddling on the Elbe there was the first lock gate. There are several little steps (2-3 meters) in the river and so there are several locks installed.

When I reached the lock, I tried to go up to the gate-keeper to ask him if I could go down. I could not see anybody, and when I pressed the button to call him he answered in Czech. Luckily a neighbour saw me and showed me to paddle into the lock. After that, everyting went real fast and I was on the other side 15 minutes later.

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The next lock was 10km away… so I decided to find a place to camp on the left side of the river just passed a big electric power plant.

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After pitching up my tent and cooking something to eat I went to bed.

Day 21: 35,37 km bike  19,45 km canoe  all: 661 km

Day 18: 18 May 2013

[gw] This night it started raining and when I first woke up at 7am it was still raining. So I decided to turn around to sleep a little bit longer. The next time I woke up it was already 8:30am, and the rain had stopped.

I packed my things and was off to Prague at 10am.

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First I had to do some climbing. After that it was a little bit easier. I found a trail on the GPS to bring me down to the river again. But it was 1km of rocks and wet mud through the woods, and it was hard work not to fall down.

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After that trail I was luckily back on a street near the river again and so it was flat. Now I was going at a good speed towards Prague.IMG_0867 IMG_0862

In the afternoon I finally reached the city. Through couchsurfing.org I had contact to Adam and I was looking for his address.

Because he lives in Praha 7 behind a park on a hill, I had to climb again. But finally I reached my host.IMG_0893 IMG_0894 IMG_0892

Adam helped me to get everything to his apartment on the 3rd floor. He showed me everything and after a nice shower and putting on fresh clothing we were ready to go sightseeing.IMG_0917

We took the tram to the Prague Castle, then we walked over the Charles bridge to the old town and looked around the place for a while.

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Don´t take things too serious:

Adams girlfriend Katharina joined us and we had dinner in a non-tourist area. Afterwards we walked back to the park and had a last beer in the evening.

In Adams apartment we talked till 1:30am and finally went to bed.

Day 18: 59.28 km  Bike: 457 km  all: 606 km

Day 17: 17 May 2013

[gw] I wanted to be ready by 8am to take the first operation of the lock. So at 6am I left my tent and started to pack everything.

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The weather was wonderful and it was so calm and peaceful early in the morning.

At 7:55am I was waiting at the lock for its first operation. 20 minutes later a guy was slowly approaching the gate. He looked around and gave me the impression that he did not belong here. But it was the lock keeper and he was willing to give me a ride.

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He opened the gate and I paddled into the lock. Then the water was pumped out and I was going down about 12 meters. When finished a door opened and I was through.

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The wind was getting stronger and because the river was windy with high walls on both sides, the wind seemed to come always from the front.

At 2pm I only had 1 km to go to the next camping place. I was able to see it, but the wind was now so strong that I was going backwards.

I hid between the many houseboats to wait for the wind to decrease. A couple saw me and they invited me to come over.

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They offered me 2 pieces of freshly grilled turkey and a beer. Then they showed me their houseboat and got out the self-made Sliwowitz. It was pretty strong but very good. They said it’s fuel for my muscles, so I had to drink another one.

When I proceeded I was a little bit trunk but strong enough for the rest of the distance.IMG_0836

At the camping ground I put up the camp and afterwords got the canoe out of the water, repaired it, cleaned it, disassembled it and finally put it on the trailer.

After 4 hours I was finished and drank a cool beer in the warm nice evening.

Day 17: 19.52 km canoe   all: 547