It’s hard to describe the peace and tranquility of floating on water, on a beautiful raft, down a beautiful river. Watching the bank slowly moving past, the wildlife undisturbed by the silent boat. The gentle bubbles on the surface of the water where it rolls over stones. The blue sky above, occasional clouds offering respite from the hot sun. It is heavenly.
I have been building up to this moment for weeks, preparing my veg plot and greenhouse ahead of schedule so I would be ready to leave. The grass was cut, the vegetables were planted and looking healthy. With a bit of luck (and some help from my friends & neighbours!) I will still have a good crop in the autumn.
The crew of the Nemo – in particular the captain, Renatas, and his chief mate, Egidijus – have been hard at work for weeks, reassembling the raft and putting it back in the water, then meticulously preparing it for guests. Another cushion here, another mosquito net there, a hook in the toilet to hang your bag – they thought of everything.
At last, the moment arrives. Our first group of guests come abord and you can see that they immediately feel at home. Our onboard chef, Daiva, offers a tray of homemade pizza. The smell of melted cheese and warmed ham is intoxicting. The guests are smitten.
We set sail, and Renatas fires up the barbeque. Daiva cooks hotdocks, wafts of smoke floating through the air. I munch on a hotdog, hungry after a busy morning. I am full and satisifed. It is only later I discover that the hotdog is just an amuse bouche, and that a two-course lunch is to follow! I manage a bowl of the delicious soup, but have to turn down the šašlykai – Lithuanian style shish kebabs. (I do sneak a piece of meat off a skewer – it’s too tasty to resist!)
In the afternoon, guests take the canoes out on the water to feel even closer to the river. Later, Mantas arrives to provide some musical entertainment. Already well settled-in, the guests sing along with the well-known Lithuanian songs. The sun goes down. We all get sleepy and climb into our tents for a well-earned sleep.
This is only Day 1. Three glorious months of this lie ahead. I hope you will travel with us, and enjoy the photos and stories.
Note: We are currently on trip Nemo 1.
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