A trying experience of a holiday-maker during a river trip
I set out on a fine sunny day in early June. I rented(hired) a boat at Foadster and soon, as it seemed in the beginning, all the problems of mine were happily left behind. I should never have thought that taking a river trip could be such an undertaking.
The distance I expected to cover was not at all long –about 70 miles or so. I didn’t want to be in a hurry: I had a splendid opportunity to enjoy the beauty of English nature, to breathe in fresh air after my work in a stuffy office and to have a good time in general.
I rowed steadily for several hours, absorbed by this activity, and its seeming simplicity raised my spirits for some reason. But at the same time I had some doubt, vaguely fidgeting inside my mind. Yes! How could I possibly be so absent- minded while packing the things? I forgot to take that portable gas burner! (You know, I hate all those dreadful things, like smoking firewood making smoky your kettles and other cooking utensils. Isn’t it more practical just to take a portable burner when you go for an outing?). That was wonderful that I had a few boxes of matches with me to be on the safe side, but that occurrence made me be a bit out of spirits.
By 5 o’clock in the afternoon it began to drizzle, thick fog was hanging in the air, and to make things still worse at 6 o’clock it was raining cats and dogs. In some five minutes I got wet through, even my damp-proof overcoat couldn’t save me.
It got darker and I decided to run the boat into a quiet nook and to fix a tent. In an hour everything seemed to be all right. It was just the time to cook supper. I deserved a slap-up supper after all the misfortunes.
But after the rain my matches were damp. I found that out when took it out of the pocket. “I might have known that”, — I thought. The only thing I could eat was canned meat. That evening it tasted like nothing else on earth. Other products, except vegetables, were unappetizing-looking mess, and the best thing I could do with them was to throw them out.
I wasn’t hungry any more, and that was quite nice. The rest of the evening I spent shaking water out of my things. At ten I went to bed, if a bed it could be called. It was 15 above zero and I had to get into a sleeping-bag.
All through the night something kept digging into my spine. Though I tried to get out of reach of it several times, I didn’t sleep a wink that night, so the next morning I looked as fresh as never before.
At 8 in the morning I got into the boat again. I firmly decided not to get into such mess again and that I would sleep under the tent inside the boat.
Later on I found a crack in the handle of an oar, practically there was no patience left (my patience was nearly out). The trip looked like never-take-such-a-one-again. And it was only the first day of my holidays…