I have travelled and lived abroad but in the company of friends or family. This would be my first long distance adventure challenge and first solo travelling too. From the outset I knew the main adversary would be the sun and I planned to take a midday break from 1100-1900 to avoid the hottest temperatures.
There was a fair amount of logistical planning required. Making sure I knew where I had to get more food and water and for how long and preparing stage maps so I would know the route as phone signal wouldn’t be reliable the whole way. Camping with tents was illegal in the part of Spain I was to pass through so I had a tarpaulin instead to allow me to say I was bivouacking in the unfortunate event that I needed to explain my situation to local law enforcement. Physical training had been a few half-day paddles on the Ouse through York to test the kayak and make sure I could maintain a decent pace over several hours. The prep stage made me realise that you can’t do enough planning but equally you can’t plan for every eventuality.
So, 8 months later I had departed my desk job in York, UK and found myself back in Aranjuez about to do my first ever full day of kayaking. That morning though, the Tagus was taking me towards Toledo and ultimately, over 650 kilometres away, to Lisbon.~
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