I knew there would be a 'come down' period after the trip was completed. I've done enough events of various kinds over the years to know that there would be that anti-climax, that hollow listless feeling, and there was. I'd spoken to a number of people with more exped paddling behind them than me, they all needed a period to readjust afterwards. Racing, expeds, whatever it doesn't matter - it takes a time to readjust after fulfilling the goal.
I had planned to be back in a boat soon after and I was. I finished on the Saturday and had a brief paddle on the Sunday followed by my first training session on the Monday. Luckily I'm paddling with a good group a couple of times a week at the moment and that makes a big difference. It's hard to resist a bit of a dust up and the banter that goes with it. But for the rest of the week things were a bit aimless and lacklustre, but that's the way it is. There are still boxes of kit to unpack, maps to file away, thankyou letters to write, and bills to pay. There's plenty to do.
I knew there would be that emptiness after the all-consuming goal was removed, but at the same time this was compounded by the removal of the daily routine that had life had become - I was lost and listless at the same time. It was strange to be back in a bed, it was so quiet. I missed that comfy little nest that Hotel Vango had become, my little under-canvas sanctuary. I even missed that daily dawn chorus themed alarm call.
You can't help but miss that simple routine that consumed the whole day: food, water, paddle, plan, sleep. Life was not easy but it was simple and uncomplicated. Now I was back in the world there was so much more to do, so many responsibilites and 'important' things to do. But they all seemed so mundane now and to be honest weren't that important.
Sod it, they could wait, and they did. Some still are...
But tonight we had a good session in the Straits, nothing that out of the ordinary but a good session all the same - enjoyable and rewarding.
Justine C, Aled, Big Marcus, Pascale and me - it made for a good group with some good work going on. No wind either!
Good paddlers who you can trust not to accidentaly stuff you into the bank at that tight turn, but knowing full well they may (and should) squeeze you on that very same turn. Hard paddling, a bit of gossip, some banter and a few sneaky tactics - all the ingredients of a good sess.
After a downtime it is good to paddle that first decent sess, you know things are back on the up, and tonight was it. Back on the wagon, time to get fit and start to get ready for whatever is next.
I'm not sure just what it is yet , but I know that I've started getting ready for it.
Next day or two I think we'll try to recall some of those memorable moments and then it may be time to let nature take it's course!