|Rivertrip Valstagna (VI) – Venezia: 116 km, 4 days|
Paddlers: Enrico Lazzarotto, Filippo Brunetti
text by Filippo Brunetti & Enrico Lazzarotto
Equipment loaded on the kayaks : sleeping bag, self-inflating mat, Navisafe lights, food, outdoor fuel stove, pots and kitchenware, water filter, Sandiline clothing for kayaking, warm clothing for sleeping, safety and rescue e...quipment, maps, reflex camera, video camera, tripod, compact waterproof cameras, ecc. Total weight: almost 40 kg. All equipments in dry bags inside the kayaks and tight on top. Kayaks: creek kayak, length 254 cm, width 65 cm, weight 20 kg, volume 303 liters.
At 7.30 am departure from Valstagna’s kayak club, first difficulty Valstagna’s slalom kayak camp.During the trip we were accompanied by herons, majestic swans, mallards. Behind us, there was Grappa mountain with lot of snow becoming smaller and smaller.
At 7.00 am the sunrise was beginning, the air and the river fog was pink. After a hearty breakfast we started paddling; the plan for the days was about 25 km in totally flat water. It took 5 hours.
In Piazzola sul Brenta Enrico lost his “Navi light 360°” jumping down an artificial drop and we suffered the loss for the rest of the expedition. After that, every trace of current, that could facilitate us the descent, disappeared and we were paddling a completely flat Brenta. Then we passed the very dangerous artificial barrier of Limena (PD) and finally we reached Vigodarzere (PD). It was sunset and, due to the nearly vertical muddy banks of the river, we had great difficulty finding a site camp for the second night. That night fire was a challenge: wet firewood and damp, but we managed!
At 6.00 am we woke up in an ice land, the thermometer measure -2°C, all the humidity of the night froze! After a very fast breakfast, we started paddling towards the sunrise for the hardest day: We wanted to arrive to the sea as soon as possible: 35 km of flat water. It took 7 nonstop paddling hours! To see Venice across the Lagoon has more than paid us back for our efforts!
At 7.30 am the sunrise woke us up from behind the bell tower of San Marco. We had a rich breakfast for the most glorious day, the day of landing in Venice! Crossing the lagoon in the midst of huge cargo vessels, ferries and all kind of boats, the approach was a show of sounds, colors, smells... something never seen before. We landed in San Marco, we did ritual pictures in kayak clothing around the square.
We paddled all the Canal Grande; we were immersed in the magical atmosphere of Venice. After 5 hours and 12 km paddling, our adventure finished at the Tronchetto parking, where relatives and friends were waiting for us.
Photos by: Giulia Brunetti, Filippo Brunetti & Enrico Lazzarotto