But a lot has happened! There have been moments of CLIMBINGCLIMBINGCLIMBING... in Carterton for FREE! At a spectacular indoor wall, with all sorts of exciting routes and overhangs (yay). Also paddling in the extreme. The extreme that I am referring to is a combination of extreme frequency, extreme distances (or at least it felt like
it at times), extreme cold, and extreme fear. And a few other extremes. It is a distinct possibility that there is some extreme exaggeration going on, but I plan to continue as I enjoy the melodrama in the EXTREME. So there. Basically, we are not particularly good at le paddling. This is less (I hope) as a result of our incompetence and more as a result of our lack of experience. I.e. until this point there has been a minimal amount of contact between A+ DisTIL members and canoes/kayaks. So we have been making up for that in the last couple of weeks. Simples. Despite currently feeling as though I no longer possess such things as arms, I have enjoyed the whole escapade, largely. It has been amazing to get out in the big outdoors in boats, and having the opportunities to just soak it all in. But for one thing: DROWNING.
If you thought that the melodrama had reached its limit with EXTREME paddling, then
you were grossly mistaken. I plan to continue to extreme lengths. I am pretty sure that I am not alone in my dislike of drowning, and therefore I don't think that it is particularly unreasonable to object to being asked to do it often. Just to clarify, by drowning I am specifically referring to being upside down in a kayak and staying upside down in the water, still in the boat to be rescued instead of popping out of the boat and sticking your head out of the water to breathe. This is what we mad creatures refer to as an Eskimo rescue. I am unsure of how it relates to Eskimos in any way, unless they have a particular fondness for being pinned into a boat upside down with your head under water. Considering the temperature of the water where they live, I sincerely hope this is not true.
For those who don't have a lot of paddling experience, I would like to explain the awesomeness of canoeing; it is a sport which involves big boats which are difficult to tip, and impossible to get trapped in. This appeals to me because it minimises the risk of drowning. The slight down side is that we are required to paddle them solo, i.e. one person per canoe, which is a bit fiddly try
ing to go in a straight line, and it is considerably more challenging if you are not blessed with the biggest muscles in the world. As my hugeness is largely inner hugeness, canoeing can be a little exhausting. However, no drowning. Kayaking, on the other hand, is death on a stick. By which I mean there is a lot of drowning involved. The only sticks involved are the paddles, and the risk of impalement on one of those is minimal. Paddlewhacking on the other hand... Anyhow, in kayaking you are sitting inside a very small hole in a very small boat, and you are attached to the boat by approximately the worst thing in the world. It is called a spraydeck, and it means that unless you kick and flail a lot (or pull the handle at the front in the rare case of not panicking), you are stuck in the boat if it flips over. Which it does. A lot.
So, in summary: canoeing = ten tons of awesome but hard work; kayaking: death on a stick.
I am glad to announce that on our kayaking trip today, only two people ended up going for a swim, and this was as a result of being considerably more courageous than the rest of us and attempting high braces. Which are not connected in any way with orthodontistry or trouser retention. In case you were unsure at this time, I was not one of those brave people. If I could figure out how, I would avoid doing braces always. I am fairly sure this will not be possible. At all.
What I have missed out thus far, is the fact that I may or may not be a qualified first aider. The reason I don't know is that the instructor wouldn't tell us whether we had passed or not. It is le grand surprise. However, I know for a fact that he definitely does not have any stray hobnobs embedded in his arms. I don't know where Thomas is.
Seeing as it is now past my bedtime, I must depart in order for to do that thing what helps me to be the opposite of the state where I am not alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic on the morrow. In real people speak: I'm going to bed.
P.S. The photos are of the spare bed wedged between two walls, and of my very best impression of a gooseberry bush. Just in case you were wondering.