Kayaking for freedom to the Statue of Liberty

“Hmm, Claire did you read the incoming email from Eric, regarding our kayak trip to the Statue of Liberty next week?” I fearfully ask her. We both sit down and read Eric Stiller’s questions concerning our seaworthiness and fitness level, and a slight panic starts to take control over both of us. The proud owner of the Manhattan Kayak Company wants to know in what specific types of kayaks we have practised, for how many hours a day, and what our average speed is. We are about to board the A380, the super jumbo jet Air France flies from Paris to New York City for a new adventure on the Hudson River, but we have to admit that it has been a while since our last paddle practice. Last year, our sunset tour with MKC led to an overwhelming experience in observing the iconic skyline of Manhattan from the river. This year, we decided to spice it up with a challenging trip to the Statue of Liberty. Beyond the stunning views, the epic adventure, the challenging distance, the strong currents, the choppy waves, the heavy river traffic, this trip is a way of raising funds against ALS*. Highly motivated by the adventure and even more by our mission, we have designed an intense fitness program: three weekly runs of 8 kilometres, every-other-day push-ups to reach 100, intensive mountain-biking outings for full body training and outdoor-worthiness, and an uncountable number of abs to strengthen our lower waist. “I am afraid it is not enough…” I whisper, discouraged. Keep travelling

The Manhattan skyline from a kayak!

The honking horn of a ferry boat announces its departure. Three more honks by other boats overpower the white noise of the city. Soon, four ferries start getting out of their terminals in rear gear in a well-orchestrated routine. A sightseeing boat loaded with tourists rushes by while a helicopter is flying over it. I manoeuvre my small kayak to avoid being flipped over by the waves. It is rush hour on the Hudson River in New York City which we are kayaking to take in the Manhattan skyline. Keep reading

An urban outdoor adventure: biking from Paris to Versailles

“It’s a red!” I scream while I hit the breaks and see my Parisian girlfriend maneuvering her bicycle while crossing a three lane road in the city centre of Paris. I swear as cars start accelerating while I’m waiting for them to pass. Being born and raised in a small village in the heart of the Netherlands with safe bicycle lanes along every road, biking through the heart of Paris with a Parisian is a truly adrenaline-packed experience!

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