The hardworking Riverwalkers didn’t just stop after their epic journey…on no!, they continued to follow their mission to promote and protect free-flowing rivers! From September 13 – 14, ten RW 2017 participants met up in Innsbruck to join the “Flussdialog Inn” at the University of Innsbruck. WWF-Austria, the main organizers of the event brought together stakeholders from industry, farming, the fishing community, tourism and government to discuss their interests with river conservation experts. They focused on topics such as freshwater ecology and flood protection with the hopes of developing an official transnational river management plan for the Inn.
The Riverwalkers were invited to join the talks since this year’s walk helped to promote the idea of the “Flussdialog” and the vision of a joint, transnational river management plan for the Inn. The Riverwalk 2017 film was premiered in front of 100 people and was shown on the big screen as the kick-off for the final “World Café”-session about economic interests, energy production, river conservation and flood protection. The audience finally arrived at the conclusion that it should be in the interest of all parties to find a balance between industrial use, agricultural activities and river conservation. Conservation-based flood management should be in the interest of the public just like other infrastructure projects such as road or railway construction. It is vital for the three countries to acquire land to allow the river to spread out and slow down, promote the value of revitalization projects and thus help to reduce damage due to severe floods. This could actually help to reduce the financial burden the government has to pay for reconstruction of houses and infrastructure.
And that was it! We close chapter 4 of the Riverwalk saga and we hope that you enjoyed reading the blog and going through the pictures. And if you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the amazing documentary: Riverwalk 2017 – Walk the Inn!
Credits to Elisabeth Schwarzkogler, she has done an amazing job!
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! The release of this year’s Riverwalk 2017 – Walk the Inn! Documentary!
Almost two months have passed since the Riverwalkers took their last steps this year and by now most of their “blisters” have healed after 24 days of riverwalking.
So, it’s high time to share some of the magical moments of what happened on the journey. Thanks to our very own filmmaker Elli Schwarzkogler for doing an amazing job pulling all of the footage together! We are proud to announce the official RIVERWALK 2017 Documentary Film!
Last day, last hike, last ninja, last group hug, last words, last moments, last rain drops, last goodbye, last blog entry, BUT … memories that last forever. We crossed the bridge at Wernstein and followed the Inn to the „Dreiflüsseeck“ in Passau together with some friends who stayed with us at Wernstein after the RiboSommer-Fest. There we had our final goodbye and then we all traveled back home while still thinking about the intense times that lie behind us. Thanks to all our great supporters both during the planning stages and during the Riverwalk itself! We will soon be back with the Riverwalk 2017-Film!
Ooooh what a festival! In total, 9 different workshops were offered; dealing with topics like community supported agriculture, chances in the climate crisis, non-violent comunication, project management and dancing. Food was provided by the team of Christian from Generation Earth plus their deeply dedicated mums. You can tell how enjoyable the food was by the amount of wasps that were hanging out at the food table, not giving a shit about the most effective vegan wasp trap that was set up JUST above the food table in order to scare the wasps away by imitating a REAL wasp nest.
We were all delighted to see the wasps slowly go to sleep, leaving the airspace free for mosquitos to conquer. Therefore, finally after a long period of being starved out, we set up another campfire for chasing the flying beasts off, plus to take home a little extra spice of smoky clothes flavour. But luck was upon us: the tombola spit out tickets for the most exciting (apart from ours..) festival in this region – the Free Tree festival! The two honored winners from now on suffer from insomnia due to overload of emotions and excitement, thrilled by the upcoming event.
The next applause was awarded to the Riverwalkers themselves, which presented their masterpiece, described in yesterdays blog as „no porridge – we cry“. The enthusiasm in the audience was close to its peak and the bar was set high for the real professionals that took over the stage afterwards. Daniel (Herzwort) and Nora and Peter (Prinz Rosa) turned up the heat that maintained us entertained long into the night before the first rain drops began to cool it down. According to myths and stories the party continued a loong time and they all lived happily ever after.
Sorry, we didn´t post anything about yesterday yet. We all woke up pretty tired after a night of moving around. Most of us slept outside without a tarp and woke up as the first raindrops fell on our sleepingbags. We grabbed our stuff and looked for shelter under a pavilion in the garden. We made ourselves comfortable and fell asleep again. After another two hours of rain though, the pavilion got leaky and we had to rush indside the house. It was about six o’clock in the morning then and most of us felt exhausted after the short night. Luckily we had enough time to relax during the day. After breakfast we all sat together and sang our personal version of „No women no cry“ – „No porridge, we cry“. Which we will teach people in workshops while the festival RiboSommer.
After that we began to prepare the big River Festival for today. Some of us went shopping, some cleaned the house and garden and others installed the sound system. Now some are creating some posters, decorate and cook while listening good music. We’ve got a lot of work to do still but with music it makes fun 🙂
Yesterday in the afternoon the group split up as some felt the need for a little solo time. Some went up to the castle again, some went swimming and others had a little competition in table football.
We all came together for dinner again. With new energy we headed out to Schärding to hand out flyers and promote our festival. Successfully ? We will see 🙂
Today, we are already busy preparing for the RiboSommer-Fest in the afternoon. Hopefully many people will find their way to Wernstein and help us make the River Festival an unforgettable experience for all of us. You are all invited, so COME !!! We’ll be happy to see you 🙂 🙂
Time has come and in addition the bitter sweet aftertaste of spending almost three weeks intensivly together. Three power-ladies left us today and we can’t say that this didn’t effect us all. Even for those who came as guestwalkers later by, already felt how fast a deep relationship can be built.
However, riverwalk-life keeps going on but today we had a “Do whatever you like”-Day. We all enjoyed our day differently. Some of us left the place and went for a walk, or visited Passau already. Some stayed and invented a song for this project, made a massage-workshop, or used the day to sleep and eat when- and whatever they want and some spent the day with reading.
In the evening everyone who wanted went to the river, swam and covered their bodies with mud. Maybe you can guess the order. There we met a guy from pakistan who joined us with hiking up to the castle of Neuburg. While this walk we exchanged some information about rivers in Pakistan. Who knows where we’ll have Riverwalk2018. Pakistan sounds nice.
After a rainy night full of thunderstorms we woke up to a nice morning and had our breakfast while looking outside as the morning sun dried off the wet grass. It was the day of our last bike ride. It began with a visit of the Europareservat Unterer Inn where we spent a few hours learning about the wildlife in that area and the river dynamics during a guided tour with biologist Beate Brunninger. Furthermore we walked through the riparian forest and to the Inn where we saw a lot of rare bird species. This is an important location for migratory birds because it´s their last chance to take a rest before they cross the Alps. The habitat was formed because the hydropower dam slowed down the water and allowed the sediments to create small islands in the river. Filled with knowledge we started the cycling journey to Schärding which is a nice little historic town in Upper Austria. We had a relaxing afternoon next to a small lake while some of us visited the old town of Schärding. After cooking for ourselves most of the time, we really enjoyed having a nice dinner at a restaurant. Then we continued cycling in the cool evening air to our camping spot while enjoying the sunset at the Inn. We were all feeling proud of almost reaching the final destination Passau, which is only 8km away, and celebrated it with a nice evening together!
We woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the soccer field, which was our sleeping place for last night. While having our beloved porridge and a first cup of coffee, a journalist arrived, asked us about our project and somehow managed to get a good shot of the still sleepy group.
A little later we took off and started today’s tour which was about 30 km long. Our destination for the day was Ering. As it was pretty hot already in the morning, we soon stopped at a lake in Kirchdorf and all went for a little swim. The lake seemed to be very natural and relatively untouched. We saw a watersnake, ducks and many, many fish. With these impressions in mind we continued our tour along the river Inn and its lack of naturality startled us even more than the other days. All along the way we drove along a dam serving as flood protection and keeps the Inn within its artificial borders. Furthermore we passed two more power plants and noticed that the flow velocity of the river totally decreased in the wetlands.
A stop at a viewing point next to a bird reserve lifted our mood up again. It gave an idea of how beautiful the Inn could be if it had the chance to flow in its natural ways. Tomorrow morning we are going to have a guided tour through this bird reserve which we are all very looking forward to.
But until then we’re going to rest and prepare ourselves for our last bike ride of Riverwalk 2017 all the way to Wernstein.
Surprise surprise, our porridge was containing some couscous some left-overs from last nights dinner.
To give you an insight of our morning struggles: packing the van is an every-day challenge since today we even had to include Leas bicycle. Real life Tetris. Also we had a clothing auction with wet towels, shirts and underwear which were left on the fence. Of course they belong to nobody.
With half an hour delay we started our 50 km trip from Kraiburg to Haiming. Our batteries were charged with good food and sunshine and thus we had a really good speed the whole way.
We were promised an ice cream on our way but then had to realize that we planned our break in the only village without any possibility for eating ice cream.
Finally we celebrated the arrival at the sports center where we are going to stay the night with vanilla ice cream, coffee and a bath in the cold creek nearby.
Some spent the hot summer afternoon creating art work, chatting or sun bathing, others explored the nature preserve in Haiming and checked out the meeting point „Innspitz“, the confluence of the Inn and the Salzach. The bike ride and the short hiking tour through the jungle was wild and adventurous.
„Guys, dinner is ready!“ We have to go, the cooks prepared pasta with 60 tomatoes! Tonight the group will gather in a circle to reflect on us and the following days. See you tomorrow!
After a night without the tarp, we woke up under the blue sky, ate our daily dose of porridge with view on motivated people in the fitnesscenter and got ready to take off to the center of Wasserburg.
Sadly, Daniel had to leave the group today. We had a long goodbye and also some tears. But there wasn’t too much time for sadness because we soon welcomed our new groupmember: Dominic, who is going to join us for the last week of riverwalking.
In the new constellation we continued our way with the bikes to Kraiburg. We had lunch at a wonderful place next to the Inn with great weather and hot temperatures. Shortly before we arrived in Kraiburg, Jasmin’s bike chain broked. -but we have Jure!!! He repaired the chain within minutes and we could finish our trip. We spent the evening with swimming in a small stream, washing clothes and preparing a bonfire on the river banks of the Inn. So we are having a relaxed and funny end of the day. Oh, by the way: today we’re sleeping in front of the primary school of Kraiburg, thanks to the mayor Dr. Herbert Heiml!