THIRD WHEELING IN VENICE
Louise Bastock Assistant editor, lonelyplanet.com @LouiseBastock
Booking tours can be a challenge for the solo traveller. Advance bookings restrict spontaneous adventures, but waiting to form a band of new-found comrades may mean you miss out on hot-ticket experiences. And, of course, solo travellers are always at the mercy of the minimum persons required rule. Such was my luck when I went on a kayaking tour in Venice. Not wanting to risk the tour selling out, I jumped on a trip that had already reached its minimum booking of two people. Little did I realise that those two people were a couple celebrating their recent engagement. The two were so embarrassed to find this beaming British girl stuffed into a wetsuit at the start of their hot date that they swiftly swapped their tandem canoe for individual kayaks. If two is company, three was the most awkward crowd ever, and we took to the water in relative silence, exchanging forced smiles. Fortunately, we all got on great in the end, and the tour itself was a highlight of my trip. I do occasionally feel pangs of guilt when I think of them sifting through their vacation photos and seeing their amorous boating escapades photobombed by a shrieking British girl colliding with a gondola.