Gallery 5: My paddling buddy Niels

This picture gallery is about Niels and some of the people around him in paddling settings. I've bought a Topo-Duo tandem kayak to try to get a new challenge in whitewater paddling. With Niels that worked really well (only one swim together so far), but we both have used that kayak to introduce others to our sport as well.

Wilko

This is Niels in the back of a Ford Transit van, which we often used on our early paddling trips with the student paddling club "OKAWA".

BTW: The Dutch term for this kind of behaviour is called "Crokussig", a combination of being really tired and the Dutch word for kissing.

Having been caught, they then both flashed the camera with their main weapons of engagement...
...Before falling asleep.
Niels and I during our first ever class IV rapid in the Topo-Duo, in the spring of 2000, in the Spanish Pyrinees. No-one had told us that there was more than class III to be expected on this river!
Here you can see why I really need a Niels in the front: to keep the spray out of my face when we hit holes and waves!
Niels is about 6'5", which means that these little Spanish kitchens are not exactly practical. The screen near his shoulders is the ventilation cover, which you can normally see your pans under.
Here Niels and I approach the bottom right line at the lower part of the Irrel Waterfalls in my Topo-Duo.
The actual run through the stepped channel, which is pretty narrow, especially for a long tandem kayak.
Here Niels takes his girlfriend down the class III middle Rur in the ancient town of Monschau, Germany.
But he forgot to tell her that this run involves some pretty high weirs. Oops! To her credit, she didn't even screem!
Niels does enjoy playing the clown, here he managed to get his kayak wedged in between a bunch of ice-covered rocks, in the middle of the current! That orange stripe is a rescue line that our buddy Steven threw to Niels. We managed to full him free.
This was when Niels was still a lot more experienced than I, and he showed us how to negotiate strainers. This picture was taken in 1994, when we still paddled Prijon T-Slaloms.
Look everyone, and this is how you get stuck!
In many ways, Niels is still a child, this is what happens when you leave him out of sight for a few minutes.
Niels in full paddling attire.
Niels and me (with handpaddles) at the Irrel waterfalls, Pruem river, Germany.
Greece, Spring 2001. On the only class IV rapid on the Alfios, Niels did some deep river exploring, but eventually he did roll up!

During our trip in Greece, Niels had to get out of the car to take a picture, but for some wierd reason he just had to keep his rain pants on (albeit dangling around his knees...)

Niels' first page of pictures here.

Return to Wilko's picture galleries here.

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Copyright 2002 by Wilko van den Bergh