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No Word of A Lie: A Hen Party on the Isar 


As the Bavarian summer drifted off into what was actually an up- and-down season, I was geared up for the German cricket season. Sadly, it proved to be non-existent as the rain soaked up the runs and wickets, leaving me with no sporting joy.

Almost as if on purpose the sun arrived the moment the cricket season ended. With nothing to do and a few weeks of good weather left, I found myself standing in the icy cold water of the Isar with the water just below my neckline. Yes, my neckline. A rather imposing figure stood before me, a South African named Brent speaking German telling me that I must dive into the water and swim under the capsized raft that moments before I was dryly paddling away in.

How and why did this once lost cricket player end up in the freezing cold waters of the Isar surrounded by the Alpine mountain region of Lenggries? Aside from being dared to do so by Brent, the capsizing was part of a team building exercise. I was a newcomer to this team and with one place left on the raft, I was asked if I would fill in the last spot. What Brent forgot to mention was that I would be sitting in on a hen party. Now, I have been dared to do a lot of odd things in my life, but rafting down the Isar on a boat in a celebratory hen party was definitely a first for me.

As the gaggle celebrated the upcoming marriage of their bride to be, I was trying to learn how to keep my wetsuit dry. I can assure you this is not an easy task when you are travelling at pace with ravaging waves beating the boat from side to side. Even if that isn’t strictly true, I am sure you can see my plight.

However the rafting proved superb and the calm water proved a good learning platform for a first-time rafter like myself. With a world-class setup and safety the number one priority, we were led safely through our course by our South African guide from Snow and Raft. We knew we were in good hands and the team building unified us, myself included, into a hen party on the charge!

When all the excitement floated away and the adrenalin had subsided, I had the chance to take it all in. The tranquillity of the Isar adds an almost romantic zest to what is an all-out action adventure. This I assume was the attraction of the maid of honour…

After a few more challenges, Brent, now speaking English, acknowledged my efforts and said, “Well that beats standing in a cricket field the whole day doesn’t it?”
As much as the water still in my ears (from the capsizing) hampered the clarity of this statement - I am still not sure if he said that exactly - I was left thinking exactly that. In any case, it had certainly been the best (and only) hen party I’d ever been to.

Yashivan Govender, is the founder of FirstStep.me, author of the Fun Side of Being Serious book series and producer of the Breaking Stereotypes documentary series.

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