The first night under the cozy tarp passed well and some early risers welcomed the sun with a refreshing swim in Lake Shkoder. In the meantime, the “kitchen team” was already sending out a wonderful coffee smell over the camp ground. After breakfast the “old” Riverwalkers (the ones that had participated the year(s) before) told us about the history of Riverwalk and what they’ve learned from it. To give an official start to the whole event, the water ceremony was introduced by Nathan: each of us brought a small bottle of water from our hometown rivers (or home town tabs..) and with stating a wish for ourselves and for the group we poured it into a central pot so that in the end we had a mix of different waters. In a small bottle it will give us company for all the walk!
To get ready for the coming adventure, we discussed how to pack a backpack, to adjust it and what to bring. Until lunch, we split in smaller groups for discussing the planned video or emergency situations (hopefully not!). A lovely siesta helped us get over the midday heat (33°C) and right after that we finally could take a group photo – next to the pier, not ON the pier. Two workshops were offered: group decision making and how to treat smaller emergency situations. The little accident from the day before helped us get a real picture of an actual emergency case.
Talking about emergency: the future of our two injured participants turned out to be much more concrete. Sadly and most disappointed we will have to say good bye to one of our members, which, for medical reasons, decided to quit the journey and to have further treatment back at home. We will wave off our beloved family member at five in the morning. Luckily, the second patient will stay with us (wohooo!), but stick to the van at least for the next 2 days.
Personal backpacks got packed and the van stuffed. The van is going to leave tonight, making it all the way to Valbona valley on 21st. The group will stay one more night in the camp “Lake Shkoder” and will head off in the early morning towards “Theth” via a shuttle. There, we are expecting our first real nature experience. Excited to tell you more about that!!! Stay tuned!