Murray River

5 LESSONS LEARNT FROM A 5-DAY KAYAK TRIP

For New Years last year, my wife and I took a 5-day kayak trip around the Upper Murray River. It was the longest trip we have done and was one of the first times in recent memory that I had truly unplugged from the world for more than a couple of days and just relaxed. I rekindled my love for nature and the simple pleasures of silence, reading a book and not dealing with my email inbox.

Here are the lessons I took away from 5-days exploring one of Australia’s most famous waterways.

6.30 AM IS NOT EARLY

Getting up at 6 o’clock in the morning is not easy when I am getting up to get in my car and head to the office. But when I’m on a multi-day kayak trip, getting up at 6 am when the sun comes up, is not a challenge and doesn’t feel early. Actually, I found it difficult to sleep past 7 o’clock on any day of the trip. If the birds are up, I want to be up. I feel like I am missing out on seeing the world wake up by lying in bed.

YOU CAN FEEL TERRIFIED AND ELATED ALL IN THE SPACE OF 2 MINUTES

Whatever anybody says, it is totally possible to feel terrified and then elation in the space of a matter of minutes. Taking on the Murray Gate rapids left me feeling exactly that. Despite being a fairly experienced kayaker, the 16km stretch of class IV whitewater filled me with sheer terror, followed by pure elation.

YOU CAN GET GENUINELY EXCITED AT THE WEATHER FORECAST

It might be a reflection of my age but I can now get genuinely excited watching a weather forecast. Particularly when the prediction is for perfect kayaking weather with blue skies and a light breeze for the next five days.

KAYAKING ISN’T SEXY

Tight paddle shorts combined with cold water isn’t a good look for any bloke. Especially when they have a bright PFD and a large-brimmed hat. It may not be sexy but it gets the job done.

YOUR SHOULDERS RELAX

Even though you are engaging every upper body muscle you have and finish each day totally wiped out, there is something relaxing about kayaking. As soon as I feel the bed fall away and I push off into the current, something in my shoulders and face relaxes. I instantly smile and feel a sense of fulfilment that only kayaking can bring.

Who needs the roar of fireworks when you can ring in the New Year with the deafening silence of the remote Murray River.


 

What have multi-day kayak trips taught you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Robert M Davies
rob.m@dinga.com.au

Robert passed the "Obsessed With Fishing Test" with flying colours. Instead of talking, Robert has turned his hand to writing about his experience in fishing all around Australia.