The locals have been amazingly receptive and the Deputy Mayor came to visit and showed us where we can (legally) camp next to a lake and in real shade (trees, such luxury!). Here we have settled in and are regrouping and re-organising ourselves.
While a few pirates went off to EJC (European Juggling Convention in France) some of us pack food boxes for our days on the river away from the van and others are sorting out Mohamed (tires, again and the side door lock, luckily Rascal is an amateur locksmith) and another few headed down river to scout the weir and journey ahead.
We have been invited to perform (in exchange for dinner) at the local social center, to take free showers at the sports center and to go for horse rides. People have popped in to our camp site to bring us local produce like onions, cherries, cheese and other fun home grown things…
Watching the full moon rise through the trees on the opposite bank while sharing food with new friends; our first lunch/siesta stop under a bridge, napping on the rafts and testing the poo canoes; mixing cocktails (from ingredients donated by our friends after Nowhere) on the fish boat while we drift down stream in the last sunshine of the day; seeing the vast amounts of pollution and knowing we are trying to make a difference somehow; seeing the smiles on the faces of local (kids) who see our rafts and realise that we are “real life pirates”; meeting the local police and seeing their confused approval and so many more beautiful moments.
I am trying not to mention the hundreds of mosquito bites; the heat of the sun when there is no shade on the rafts; the group dynamics and the dehydration that causes tension, cause, well, you don’t need to know that it is tough sometimes.
We’re just going with the flow.