Rowing a boat is a bit like marriage. You have to pull together if you want to get anywhere, and you have to recognise and adapt to each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You even have to listen to each other, and sometimes you have to accept that one of you knows more about the process than the other. You can’t both be in the command seat at the same time, because one of you has to set the timing. If you get in the right rhythm, things go along quite well, but if you can’t match each other’s stroke, you don’t make much progress.
Bill and I can’t ever remember being in a rowboat together in the thirty-plus years we have been together. We decided to give it a go today. It gave us a chance to actually get on one of the lakes at Plitvice, and to get up close to a couple of the waterfalls we had admired at a distance yesterday. And it promised to be fun. At first Bill rowed alone, and then I had a try on my own. I couldn’t get enough strength in my left arm to stroke through the water smoothly, so then we had a try at doing it together. That’s when I learnt the above philosophy.
Jay and Waddy were in a separate rowboat. As they drifted along beside the waterfall, Jay asked to be serenaded.
“Sing ‘O Sole Mio’,” she suggested to Waddy. He obliged with a rendition of an English love ballad.
“Now you should serenade me,” he said.
“How shall I do that?” asked Jay.
“Talk football and f–t,” replied Waddy.
Australian men are such romantics.
I told Waddy afterwards that my legs hurt.
“That’s because you rowed like an ape,” he said. “It looked like you were holding the oars in your legs. And you were going round in circles.”
Charming. Thank you Waddy.
We hadn’t intended to do quite as much in the park as yesterday, but by day’s end we were surprised to realise that we had managed a fair bit more walking and viewing. Even though some parts were the same route as we had already done, the experience was different as the day was warmer and it had not rained overnight, and we approached the falls and cascades from the opposite direction.
So we are leaving this area having dedicated two full days to exploring the park, lake and falls. I suspect we only scratched the surface. However, we are well satisfied with what we have seen, and our itchy feet are ready for the next move. We are heading north-west to Opatija. We will be a mere ten kilometres from where I lived for six months in the northern winter of 1979; and I have arranged to meet friends from that long time ago. Nervous anticipation awaits!
Wednesday 10th July 2013, Garrulous Gwendoline, Korana, Plitvice Lakes