Linas Bertašius and Martyna Skukauskaitė are not professionals canoers, but decided to take the plunge nevertheless. “It was an eye-opening journey,” said Bertašius after a canoeing trip across the entire country. Not all the things they saw, however, were pretty.
“We saw that there is a river-route all the way to the Baltic sea, across the whole of Lithuania,” said Bertašius.
In early April, when the temperature swung between -5 and 25, they began their journey. Some nights were so cold that they both slept rolled up into a cocoon, said Skukauskaitė. Keeping them company was their dog, Techno.
It took them 15 days to complete the trip, during which they were often forced to travel by night to cover longer distances, or to shield from the sun.
The couple canoed along six different rivers and, according to them, all are very different.
“Some rivers have a lot of streams running into them, and the water is so clear that you could drink it,” said Skukauskaitė.
Meanwhile in the Neris – one of Lithuania’s two largest rivers – “you can smell chemicals, and see foam. There, you don’t feel like swimming, or even washing your hands.”
“The contrast was saddening,” she added.
The most impressive thing on the trip were the sunsets, “seeing how the colours change, the water is coloured, and to bid farewell to another day inside a canoe was simply incredible and unique every day,” said Bertašius.
The dog Techno also enjoyed the trip, according to Skukauskaitė – Techno’s snoring was shaking the canoe on most days.