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Canoeing Czech Style

Where?
Without a doubt, the Sazava River.  The area around this gold bearing river is a wonderful wilderness through a rugged canyon. With occasional small rapids, it may sometimes splash, but it’s absolutely manageable for complete beginners under the guidance of an experienced oarsman. 
It’s less than an hour's drive from Prague and you can also comfortably travel by train, which offers a nice scenic little trip.
 
In what?
On the domestic rivers, the vast majority of boats are open two-seater canoes. Many people have inflatable canoes, but if you book through boating outfitters they will probably offer you a plastic canoe. They’re more stable, faster, and easy to handle. 
 
What to pack?
Two changes of clothes, sturdy shoes, a raincoat, camera, sunglasses. You don’t need more. The instructor will put your belongings in a plastic barrel with a waterproof closure, or in a waterproof bag.
You never want to pass on a life vest.  It’s part of the provided equipment. However, a helmet isn’t necessary for this type of river, as there are no life-threatening stretches.
 
Some nautical terminology
Who is the stern paddler and who is the bowman? Agree in advance!
Bowman  - The person sitting in the front of the canoe.  On calm water, the boman uses the paddles to drive the boat forward. The bowman also acts as a scout and watches for rocks and other obstacles that are up ahead and notifies the stern paddler to steer around them. 
Stern paddler- The oarsman sitting in the back of the canoe. He’s the one who holds the boat in place while boarding and is in charge. He steers the boat with the oar and also paddles it forward. After all the gods and mighty forces, the most important person in the crew.
 
Czechs usually take beer in plastic bottles that are tied to a rope and pulled in the water behind the boat.  This won’t be necessary as at the end of the trip there will plenty of opportunities to stop for nice cold one at one of the authentic “knajpy” (boaters’ pubs) along the river banks. 
 
And the traditional “Waterman’s” Greeting? AHÓÓÓJ !!!

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