Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Yesterday I got ready to paddle and then went to run a few errands in Genova. I had tobuy food, get a lure if I could find one, pick up a couple of gas cartridges, and above all, I needed a chart. I was about to be off my current chart and I wouldn't be able to find one in a small city. Waterproof navigational charts are hard to find, but necessary for the mariner who occasionally finds his boat upside down.
It was a long tiring day of exploring the huge port and downtown area in Genova. I found at least six closed marine shops, and got directions to more that I couldn't find at all. One shop that was closed for inventory let me in, but their charts were not waterproof and their gas cartridges were neither of the two kinds that I can use.
Genova has a nice port area with an elevated highway stringing through what would otherwise be a neat downtown area. Their was a small playground where the swings had seatbelts.
By some happy chance I did walk by a large fishing store and they sold me a lure that they assured me the fish would burst for joy at the thought of getting caught by. In fact, the lure was so great, fish would take one look at it, hop into a pot and serve themselves on a plate with a side of tastyseaweed. This was good, because if I ever do catch a fish, I'm not sure I'll know what to do with it.*
After my failure to get a chart I went to the marina's offices and asked them it I couldleave my boat there until Sunday, “You kayaked from where!?”
“You brought your kayak on a plane from Barcelona.”
“No, I paddled from Barcelona.” I said.
“Yes, yes, you can leave your boat here. Have some chocolate.”
Genova is the northernmost city on my trip, so early this morning I got on a train for myspecial detour. My train ride is not a short one, and it's taking me through the Alps. I just passed a large mountain lake with an island. On the island was a picturesque village that is probably hundreds of years old. A great white ridge of mountains passes beneath me to my left and brittle brown and white giants shoot above me on my right. Forests of leafless brown skeletons standing out starkly against the snow covered slopes where they meet.
Elsewhere, the ground is shades of brown and stone gray. Here is a waterfall, half frozen pointing perfect icicles towards the ditch beside the tracks.
I pass a village with empty fields separating the houses and a great water fall coming off the cliffs behind it.
Higher up now, everything is white. White pine forests with a hint of green, whitemountains. We are stopped at a station and a plow clears fresh snow off the platform. Having lived in Israel since 2001, it's been almost a decade since I've seen this much snow.
A man in a plaid shirt and brown jacket showed me a badge and asked to see my passport. I guess I crossed another border, and am now out of the EU. I asked him if I could take his picture for my blog, and he said it's not allowed. Sorry.
I am disappointed I won't be paddling for the next few days. But I don't think I'll be suffering too much here in the roof of Europe.
* Scale it, gut it, clean it. You'll need a suitable knife. I'm sure there are instructions on Youtube, Dov. Cook it in a pan & use the bones & some of the other parts to make broth for cooking lentils or rice, too. ~ ed.