Emajõe great swamp again

The road to Kikassaare is muddier than last time.
But this time we have a jeep. The plan is to start canoeing from here along the Ahja river, continue on Emajõgi river and then to Kalli river and then see how we can get back to the car.
The river is wide and sun comes out. Some fishing equipment near the shores with video surveillance signs.
There's traffic on Emajõgi river, as was to be expected. Motor boats, cutters, catamarans. We row against the wind and it takes some effort. The flow of the water doesn't help much. Emajõgi is the flattest river in Estonia.
A coffee break on the shore. We can hear chiffchaff and rosefinch and see a great egret.
Since the day is still young we plan to go and have a look at the Praaga village but when Otisaare campsite comes into view, filled with sunshine and with no people, we stay put. Laze on the pier, have a nap, read, listen to the birds. A white wagtail keeps an eye on us from the roof of the cabin and a gang of barn swallows lives nearby.
I go to a small expedition. Everything is wet since the water is really high. It would not be possible to camp here now. Willows and nettles patiently wait for the water to go down. There's some thicket and some tiny patches bumpy meadow. Medium size brown frogs escape when I approach. A weasel visits us in the evening.
In the morning I sit in the middle of a sedge warblers' concert, accompanied by marsh warblers, a cockoo, a common chaffinch and a common snipe.
Kalli river is quieter with a big party of black-headed gulls nesting. Where the river gets wider we know of a ditch that could lead us back to Ahja river across the swamp. Surprised to see an inhabited house there, we ask a young man about what lay ahead. Hundreds of meters of beaver dams and no flowing water in the swamp. So this will not be our way back.
On the other side of the Kalli lake there's another ditch that takes us to the place we visited last time. No people there so we just leave the canoe, take the car keys and start walking over the swamp. Mosquitoes are happy. We see two piles of bear shit and a beaver castle. The path is quite overgrown.
Finally at the Ahja river, we can see our car on the other side. Wet suits on, clothes into the dry bags and the last stretch goes swimming. It's not very cold except for the hands.
On the mud road back we meet three fishermen who have parked their car into the ditch. They first ask for light and then explain that one of them is already calling someone to help them. A beer bottle rests against the car tire.
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in the bear hide

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