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Canoeing: now and then

Today, the 21st of September and that day, the 13th of June. Canoeing experiences. The body is still exhausted after today’s trip and the head is full of memories from that day’s trip.

September morning is cool and chilly and I put on my hood and warm gloves, looking at the… river which is shining like a mirror in hot rays of sun. The middle of June presented us a blessed warm day. … clouds of fog above Barucz. Numerous teenagers (are there 50, 80, 100 of them?) are constantly moving around like ants but only… Luckily, all the team is here. As soon as safety instructions are over we split into groups of two people … four of us challenged cold weather and showed up. Our canoes are the last to set off yet this is even for the better: those who… and jump into boats. Idaira ---- it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, what a pity that autumn chill put her to bed with flu ---- and I are rowing steadily and I unbutton the jacket as the river is breathing with heat. … go first have to collect rubbish. Our canoe is constantly bumping in the river bunks till the moment when Woitek ---- aha, a memory like a flashlight in my brain; this is the man who I met in June with another group: the same red pullover, the same bushy moustache, the same few words he knows in Russian ---- just row back with an oar… Since the beginning we are unwillingly competing with each other and I cease to row only to make a few zdecia of my rival-friends ---- familiar faces on old photos – Ilhan? Ata? Ege? – they have been on the same river together with me in June – has all this time passed so fast? It is September and… and put the oar in water energetically a few times: Woitek’s voice interrupts my train of thoughts. Felis is doing her best ---- last time it was her and Zbigniew in one boat, swift enough to overpass our canoe ---- and eventually come to the place where we made a przerwa then… and eventually we make a stop at the forest harbor and make a fire, despite strong wind… but this time we are sailing forward, just forward non-stop… …only Zeinep and Hristina ---- how is she living in a tent in Austrian forest in September? Must be cold on the ground… ---- are missing. Finally we discover that they… and I keep paddling till trousers get almost soaking wet… had to pull the canoe on the bank and walk on foot… till I start anticipating a bon fire more and more… but I AM SITTING at the bonfire, so close that sparks almost burn my face and Ilhan is pointing at it and repeating: “ates” with his usual smile… … finally we notice a bridge in the distance and it means our voyage is over… the meal is finished and we are ready to continue… yet I am really hungry now though I had a hearty meal not so long time ago, just 3 months passed as a moment…. and by the time we arrive to Sulow all the around is silent and empty… though guys and girls from September reality soon fill the imaginary space of summer dreams with their noise… waiting takes almost an hour but then Zbigniew gives us the lift…. and altogether we have a joint picnic and even win a few prizes. However, it’s time to return home, we get into the bus and pan kierowca is kind enough to drive us …

…to the place where we have left our bikes under a wooden image of a huge Karp. To the place where June meets September and they shake hands…

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