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Wild Swimming in Aukštaitija

joanna Griffin braves the local wildlife on a swimming holiday in lithuania

“T here’s nothing in these lakes”,

Audra said cheerfully as she checked me in to the lodge on the shore of Lake Lūšiai, ‘Stormy Lake’, which just at that at that moment wasn’t looking stormy at all. It was flat and calm in the afternoon sunshine, the long velvety heads of its thick beds of reeds nodding calmly on their slender necks as if agreeing with Audra’s appraisal.

I’d taken the train northeast from Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, to the Aukštaitija National Park to spend the weekend swimming across six of its 126 lakes. I’d just arrived in the small pine and birch forested settlement of Palūšė, ‘Village on the Stormy Lake’, and was slightly apprehensive.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Outdoor swimming is not just about sport. It is about being part of a community, about fun and challenge, travel and escape from the day-to-day grind. It is about the thrill of feeling alive. It is being sat at your desk and dreaming of next weekend’s swimming adventure. If you find it hard to keep the thrill going through the dark days of winter, we’ve got 12 ways to help keep you motivated, including six top tips for cold water swimming. If you need something to look forward to, check out our Travel and Events sections for races and holiday destinations for summer 2017. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from the Wild Swimming Brothers about their trip to Norway to tackle the world’s biggest whirlpools, and the truly inspirational Sarah Thomas talks to us about her mammoth 80-mile swim in Lake Powell. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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