A Journey of Two Tales
My birthday was shrouded in veiled mystery. Senna had organized a night away for us both and I had no idea what, where and how we were celebrating. To start with, Senna has a fantastic eye for trips, adventures and surprises. I knew two things, one was that we had sleeping bags with us and two, we were staying in Holland as I didn’t require my passport or bank card.
We set off cycling to our unknown destination with three packed bags, the contents of which were unbeknown to me, and two sleeping bags. The cycle was difficult with so much baggage and I felt like a Tibetan packhorse with bags bouncing off my knees as I wobbled along the village roads. We cycled for about an hour, with me still having no clue as to our destination, and we arrived at a bridge with tourist information, but no trees in sight. My initial thought, due to the sleeping bags, was that we were somewhere in the woodland, maybe a treehouse. After slight deliberation, Senna went inside a building next to a bar as I stood like a travelling gypsy of old, bags and sleeping equipment in hand. As a man appeared and guided us towards the water, I was pleased to find were had a two-man paddle boat complete with stove, chairs and a bucket to shit in. We entered the boat and started to paddle down the canal. All I could think now is that we would be sleeping wherever we parked, but alas, I was incorrect. In the middle of the water, on a made up floating crate, was a tent with a wooden balcony. We were literally sleeping on the water and the only way to get to it was to take your own little canoe. I was elated to say the least, my own little adventure that I got to share with my partner. We moored up the boat and unpacked it, preparing the chairs and bed area. Senna gave me my presents, which were all my favorite things. I had Balvenie whiskey, wine gums, black pudding and cheese. We cracked two cold beers she had brought, and I congratulated her on such a fantastic idea. She is a star, well, most of the time.
The sun was bright, and our canal split into three so, naturally, we got a few whiskeys in us and got into the boat with two plastic cups and paddled away. Now, from the off, our coordination was not exactly desirable. We crashed into the canal sides quite a few times and our ability to work together was lacking a little. Eventually we realized that it was far better for one to paddle and the other to relax, which we did in the sunshine for a comfortable few hours. Later into the boat trip we decided to turn around and head back down the canal. I picked up my paddle, so we could turn around and began to contribute. I want to make it abundantly clear that as a man, any challenge must be confronted or rectified. This is not my fault, as it is a chemical reaction to the testosterone in my body, but certain comments from certain parties can be controlled. Senna decided we were not turning around as quickly as she imagined and said to me, ‘you’re not paddling hard enough, are you tired’, to which I replied, ‘ill show you paddle hard enough’, and proceeded to paddle as hard as I could in the opposite direction to her on the same side of the boat. Senna, in turn decided to paddle as hard as she could in a kind of battle royal to see which way the boat would go. It turns out that this does not create a winning direction, or formula for that matter, this flips a boat. Awash with water, panic mode sets in and I check to see if Senna is okay. She acknowledges me, and I tell her we must push, the now upside down boat, to the side. As we swim hard I grab a branch of the nearest tree and climb with the boat rope as the canal bank is far too steep. After a lot of pushing and pulling, with Senna still in the water, we managed to flip the boat back. That is when I saw it. It hadn’t dawned on me at all, but it hit me like a kick in the nuts. There, floating in the distance, was my plastic cup. My whiskey had gone, food for the fishes. I tied the boat and grabbed Senna and pulled her into the tree line. We instantly started to giggle, which is one of the things I love about her the most. We made it back to the tent on water, soaked to the bone and smelling like the inside of a pig’s underpants. I could go on about the rest of the evening, but it basically consisted of a very sober and very smelly uneventful time, wrapped in our blankets freezing our respective genitalia off.
We awoke in the morning, and this is April in Holland by the way, and our clothes were still wet through. Basically, we squelched our way home and avoided any kind of contact with humanity except to purchase cola from the shop. Senna had swallowed some of the ever-quenching canal water, and felt she had little animals in her stomach. She decided to drink coke because, ‘coke kills everything’. Will remember that if the aliens ever attack!
This trip was booked with kampeervlot.