Friday, June 27, 2008

June 27th Rent a kayak -pay with garbage

PampasKayak, Sweden's leading paddle sport retailer and outfitter (and a member of the Point 65 group) has started a new environmental initiative.

Zoe at PampasKajak outfitting jetty receiving payment for a kayak rental!

Customers who fill two bags of garbage during their paddle excursion receive a 50% discount on their rental.
Nigel Foster showing of on PampasKajaks ever cleaner water

With 100 kayaks in the rental fleet PampasKajak will probably amass thousands of garbage bags over the season making the surrounding waters a lot cleaner.

A number of major newspapers and magazines have reported on this initiative. Unfortunately it's all in Swedish but you get the picture!

Published artickles the last few days:

- METRO June 16
- Dagens Nyheter June 25
- B├ątliv June 25
- Utemagasinet June 25
- Aftonbladet web TV June 25
- Swedish Radio SR P3 June 17

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22 -No paddlers here, fete de village

Saturday was the annual "Fete de Village" the village party in my little french village. My neighbors are a set of real characters not unlike the people in the paddling community, a great crowd. I was just back from a couple of weeks in Shanghai so a culture shock of some magnitude. The village name reads like poetry.
Nadine owns the local bar/rstaurant and arranges the party. She is a great lady and cooks fabulous meals.Nora and Pierre. Pierre robbed a bank back in 1999 and did 7 years of hard time. The loot of 1,7 million Euros (2.6 million US$) was never found. Pierre showed up in the village after his release, bought a comfortable little farm house (cash), a monster motor bike (cash) and a couple of nice horses (cash). He doesn't do a days work except for giving occasional riding lessons free of charge....
Franck is the big man in the village. He owns and runs the largest horse trading business in France and employes half of the village. He sells over 2000 riding horses a year and always has a stock of at least 200 horses available. He only sells to merchants, pony clubs and to the butcher.
Mark lives next to the bar and spends at least 4 hours a day there but drinks only coffee. Instead he grows some funny looking plants in his garden and his cigarettes sure smell weird.
Jean-Paul is married to Nadine and helps her in the bar in the evenings. He owns and runs the local garage fixing any car,
People starting the evening with an "aperitif", a "kir".
Sebastian works for Franck as a truck driver.
Laurant also works for Franck as his mechanic.
Mikael is a horse man specializing in braking in horses. In one week he can get your wild mustang ready to go. Mikael has actually paddled a kayak once back in 1987 and therefor feels a special bond to me:-) Therese is a house wife. Note her Point 65 clogs!
Thierry also works for Franck as a truck driver. Just 2 weeks ago his truck overturned on the freeway killing all the 8 horses inside and shutting the main freeway to Paris for 3 hours.
The band was surprisingly good this year playing covers of all sorts. Police to Elvis.
Dinner was a slab of very tender meat with "fritte" and a slice of bread.
Served by Audrey, Nadines and Jean-Pauls daughter who helps them run the bar on her free time from her studies. She had a baby boy 2 months ago.
A nice Bordeaux with the meat.
Followed by Camambert and a home made cherry cake with cherries picked from the very garden where the party was held.
Laurant owns and runs the restaurant in the neighboring village.
Gregory is a guitar maker. His exclusive hand made guitars are sold all over France on special command.
It's getting late, back to the bar for coffee, digestive and a smoke.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 20th -Karen Darke joins Point 65

Karen Darke, the world renowned adventurer, kayaker, author and lecturer joins the Point 65 sponsored paddler team!This spring I made a new friend in Karen who is the latest addition to the Point 65 family and an incredible inspiration and asset to all of us. Karens book "If you fall" is a great read (available on Amazone.com) .I introduced Karen to Nigel Foster, who amongst other things, heads our sponsored paddler team and I was very pleased when Nigel chose Karen as the first paddler, in what will be a very small group of Point 65 sponsored paddlers.

Nigel has been scouting for paddlers since starting the Point 65 sponsored paddler program two years ago and not until he met Karen did he find his first team member. Over the last decade Karen has overcome many physical and mental barriers, completing many trips others believed impossible. From kayaking, sit-skiing and hand-cycling in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet.
Karen crossed the Tien Shan and Karakoram mountains of Central Asia on a hand bike (1997), cycled the length of the Japanese archipelago (2000), paddled a 1200 mile length of the Canada – Alaska coastline (2003), crossed the Indian Himalaya by handcycle (2006) and skied the Valle Blanche on a sit ski.
By far the most impressive feat to date was Karen’s groundbreaking 600 kilometre traverse of the Greenland ice cap, a month long journey across one the world’s last great expanses of wilderness, where winds can reach 200 miles per hour and temperatures drop below 40 degrees.Many seriously doubted Karen’s chances of success, yet with grit, determination and courage she proved it possible. As mentioned, Karen is also the author of "If you fall" and numerous articles.We are extremely happy to have Karen on board! Karen will be able to contribute in many fields. Karen and I having lunch at the MiDoRe on Avenue Hoche in Paris
Besides being the perfect ambassador in helping to promote the Point 65 brand, Karen will be an invaluable resource in product testing and product developing considering the extreme places she goes and the abuse and wear she puts on her gear. That Foi gras sallad was something!
But Karen will also be an important factor in helping us develop our human recourses with her training skills, helping us in taking the Point 65 management team and staff to the next level.
A bloc of absolutely perfect Fois Gras de Canard with some duck "ham", toasted baguette on a Haricot vert sallad

Thursday, June 12, 2008

12/6 Two Koreans in Shanghai

Mikyunt and Youngsuk from Songkang Canoe in Korea came to visit. They are expecting their first container of kayaks this so we will ad our 23thd county when they do.
We spent a day together in shanghai and I took them to my favorite lunch place (it's got no name). It's a hole in the wall but they do real good noodle soup, fried rice and more.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

June 8th Baby steps in China

I just arrived in Shanghai yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. First I noticed that I could open and work on my blog! Googles "Blogger.com" has previously been blocked and I have been forced to hold of on blog entries between trips here. The Chinese have been blocking blogger to shield it's people from blogs critical of China or rather it's government. I have no idea why they have eased this now. As I have understood from media reports that censorship was expected to tighten before and during the Olympics...

Second surprise was when I noticed that Wikipedia was open as well. Also Wikipedia has previously been blocked for the same reasons but now I can surf all content freely and fast. Makes life easier here and feels like another small step has been taken.