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by Perttu Korhonen - Finland

Paddling trip to Suihkola river in Central Finland

Spring is the best time for paddling on small rivers. Rivers have lots of water, insects and the bears are still sleeping.

I just finished my new kayak, so this trip was also good opportunity to test how the design works. So lets go!

Quick packing - kayaks to the roof, bikes to the back, rest of the gear to the trunk and throttle pedal through the floor. Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen and Perttu Korhonen went.

Blink and we found ourselves upriver. We pack kayaks and fly the car to downriver and we relax as we cycle back to kayaks.

Lets start paddling - route contains one small lake between two narrow rivers. Small rivers like these are nice to paddle. A steady current moves us quietly through scenery. The air is warm and sunny, filled with birds singing and country smells - weeks stress is already fading away.

The first river's water is bright. Beavers has made one dam, but there is narrow way though. A human-made build dam on old sawmill is harder to go around, so we carry kayaks round this obstacle.

After the sawmill we complete the first river and arrive to the lake part. Even though we eat some fresh hamburgers during a quick pit stop, we are starving. A small island nearby comes to our rescue. With a wood burning grill and some real meat soon we are recharged to full strength again. A couple of cups of coffee and we feel almost young and invincible.

The lake was small and that´s good. We come here to paddle rivers not lakes. The second river contains some small rapid parts. Day turned into evening so we start to look for a place for the night. We go past one "nice" forest place where trees has grown horizontal and gathered to piles. It looks just terrible, but sun shines longer to open place so we paddle a bit back to upriver and set our camp.

The night was a bit cold, but on morning temperature raises quickly. It´s Sunday and we have no hurry, but the river invites us for paddling.

Soon we arrive to the rapid part. Lot´s of fun - lot´s of turns and rocks. I attached an aluminum strip to bottom and it really pays it´s price back. I had some hits but did't even damage the bottom painting on the plywood.

It was nice river and a good way to spend weekend and forget weekday´s routines.

I liked my new kayak very much. It´s short so it´s easy to handle on narrow rivers like this, but still points very well on lake parts. Check more information on my plans page.

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