Kitesurfing (well, for now: kiting) near London with The Kitesurf Centre

I had been wanting to learn how to kitesurf for quite a while. So as soon as the last lockdown was over and it was possible to book training sessions again, I booked one of the first sessions available near London, a two-hour personal training session. The Kitesurf Centre There are quite a few options of learning how to kitesurf within a doable distance from the Big Smoke. I picked The Kitesurf Centre in Camber Sands near Rye, about 95km to the southeast of London (135km by car or train), roughly two thirds of the way from Brighton to Dover on a beautiful beach. A Family Business The kitesurfing school has been founded by two brothers, Thomas and Tristan, in 2007. Both of them had run a number of watersports companies around the world until then. They were joined by brother #3, Rupert, a few years later. All three men […]

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Open Water Swimming at West Reservoir Centre, Stoke Newington

A few weeks ago, I’ve decided to pick up open water long-distance swimming. This is why I started to check out open water swimming venues in and around London. When I grew up in Germany, my buddies and I would always go wild swimming in rivers and lakes, often several times a week, twice a day during summer. My parents, who grew up in the Bavarian town of Passau, at the confluence of the mighty Danube, the Inn, and the Ilz rivers, when they were 8 or 9 years old, they swam across the Danube zigzagging between the mighty freight ships heading towards the Atlantic Ocean from the Black Sea or vice versa. Here in the UK in the 21st Century visiting a lido as a grown-up is already considered to be quite adventurous. Wild-swimming has the sound of anarchy and is about as reputable as wing-suiting or base-jumping.   […]

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My Marvel Comic Experience – Jetlev in Wyboston

Today I did what I was planning on doing for a long time. I took a ride with a Jetlev. In this case: with Ride Leisure at Wyboston, near Bedford (and about 30mins by car from Cambridge, which is 50mins by train from London). My instructor, Malcolm, greeted me upon arrival and as soon as I got myself into one of their wetsuits, we walked the few metres over to the lake. The safety briefing and training took the best of fifteen minutes, and off I went, jumping into the water with the jetpack attached to my body.          I’m a solid swimmer, but it did feel strange jumping into deep water (your feet can’t touch the ground) with heavy gear attached to your back. However, Malcolm’s calm, reassuring manner and the training made me feel somewhat ok with this idea. You take a big forward leap, downward-facing, […]

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Finally – My first Balloon Ride (with Adventure Balloons)

Ms B had been bothering me by going on and on about how awesome her ride on a hot air balloon through the Valley of Kings during her trip to Egypt in 2005 had been (and admittedly that must have been fabulous, judging from the pictures, with all the pyramids and things). So today, while Ms B went on with her business, doing some lawyering in Canary Wharf, and with me being ‘between jobs’ (my next assignment will only start in a few weeks’ time, again abroad in Germany), I got up real early, 4:15am to be precise, sat myself in a rental car I had hired the night before by 4:45am, and drove to the launch site in Hampshire, 1h30m drive away from home. Due to a couple of bad turns (despite the Tom Tom, I know, inexcusable! I’m not a human lifeform before 8am, more like a mix […]

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