Sunday, June 3, 2012

Italia

 So I left the mighty US of A and got hit with a $400 charge to get my boat on the plane which wasn't ideal but never mind.
Walking through Frankfurt airport my first impressions of Europe were favourable; A guy wandering around the international terminal with a casual bottle of red and a plastic cup strolled past, everyone was nicely dressed (except myself of course - standard Kiwi singlet, jandals and boardies) and there was a bakery in the airport making fresh bread/brezels/delicious other stuff.
I found B, Soph and Severin at the arrivals with minimal fuss and we were off to the Sesia river festival in Val Sesia (Val means Valley in case you were wondering..)
We're staying in an amazing little village called Campertogno which is one of many that you drive through every five minutes on the way up the valley. Beautiful old stone houses line alleyways and the river. A huge church steeple (circa 1595) dominates the village and faithfully tolls every hour which is nice during the day but not so much at 2 am...


 B partaking in the standard Italian breakfast

There are a couple of tiny stores which sell amazing local produce for ridiculously low prices (like a dollar for a hunk of cheese which would cost you $15 in NZ)
The coffee is amazing and is $1 for an espresso which makes it tough to not enhance the already formidable morning habit. 


 Looking across the town bridge. The river sesia flows right next to the road. Just under the bridge was the finish line for the boatercross.

 The campground where we are staying


 Campertogno church


 Closer up
The end of the boater x course.

The racing for this event consisted of a team time trial down a fun but quite long grade 3-4 section and an individual time trial on the same section of which the top 16 qualified for the boatercross head to heads. 
Our team of Myself, Brendan Bayly and Severin Haberling managed to get second in the teams race which was surprising considering we had never even seen the race section let alone paddled it. We all qualified for the boatercross as well and B and Severin managed to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively which was awesome. I then took part in the "throwbag olympics" and with a spot of cheating managed to win that too (thanks to Severin's speedloader bag..) The prize haul was impressive, with Sweet clothing been thrown out haphazardly along with a new Palm lifejacket for my throwbagging efforts. 
We're going to paddle some side valleys today and then pick up Jamie tomorrow and head to the Teva Mountain Games in Ivrea. Might put some kayaking photos up soon but probably not... Lifestyling is the way forward.

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