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Old 02-14-2012, 03:26 AM
Juliet Raphael Juliet Raphael is offline
Default Canoeing Date: Hunter Keone and Ruth Flitzpatrick

The Otter River curves sinuously through the countryside near Ottery St. Catchpole, a sleepy town in Devon. The slow-moving river drifts through village, forest, and countryside alike, its sun-dappled surface hiding deep pockets of murky water and shale-bottomed shallow spots. The children in the village have a favored swimming hole in summer, and fishermen of all calibers enjoy plumbing the Otter’s depths from the bank. Now, however, the air is brisk and the water too chilly for either activity.

Uncle Fitch’s Campground and Water Craft Rentals is a Wizard-owned establishment just up the river from Ottery St. Catchpole that caters to a mixed crowd of both Muggle and Wizarding clientele. At this time of year, only the devoted outdoorsmen are camping in the forests and fields nearby, although the scent of wood smoke from their campfires permeates the brisk morning air. Still, Uncle Fitch is happy to rent out canoes and kayaks to the intrepid explorers sent by Ms. Raphael, and he has one of each waiting on the bank for the couple to choose between.

He also has a picnic basket provided by Ms. Raphael and her team, complete with a large thermos of hot chocolate and a quaint striped quilt in case the couple is brave enough to picnic outdoors. Uncle Fitch is also quick to remind his customers that the river flows through Ottery St. Catchpole, where several warm pubs and restaurants may provide a welcome respite from the wind, although he expects all water crafts to be beached at the pick-up point down river.

Have fun and stay warm!