The 16th annual Kurbads boat trip was held in the heat and a friendly atmosphere

Respecting and honouring the best traditions of Kurbads – this year the 16th boat trip and sports games were held together. As with every year, it is organised for the Company’s employees to replenish their energy reserves and absorb the healing power of Mother Nature. Coincidentally, for the second year in a row, we chose to enjoy the bubbling currents and gentle bends of the River Pededze. After the active and back-muscle strengthening activity, we enjoyed a peaceful end to the first day, as well as the next morning, in a small green oasis in Litene, hosted by the caring owners of

Despite the fact that the weather conditions for the boat trip initially promised to be unsuitable and even rainy, this did not prevent the brave men and women of Kurbads (employees) from turning up in large numbers for the event. This time, the employees of Kurbads, Kurbads Detailing, Kurbads Kravas Serviss, HS Kurbads and Lante Manor, with their families, met for a boat trip and sports games.

We started our exciting holiday in the early hours of the morning, meeting at the Kurbads base to take a bus to the starting point of the route – the oak-lined banks of the River Pededze. Although we had initially planned to enjoy the nearby River Vaidava in the Vidzeme highlands – due to the water level, we opted for tried and tested values and went to tackle the familiar currents of the River Pededze.

Our Company values not only receiving, but also giving. If we draw strength from Mother Nature, we must also give back to her. This is why, combining our already fairly proficient paddling skills and respect for the environment, we cleared the river of litter. This duty to nature turned out to be quite exciting and not so easy, as we coincidentally also found some used car tyres in the river. It was as if someone had diverted our planned route for the day to do just that.

To rest and stretch a bit after the exciting “river cleaning operation”, as well as to have a delicious meal, we moored our water vehicles at our accommodation in the boat base

Anyone who has been on a boat trip in previous years knows that traditionally, soup is cooked over a campfire, which, thanks to the fire, the cast-iron pot and the magic of the caring hosts, tastes like nowhere else. This year, thanks to the interaction of many hard-working hands, the caring ladies of our great group brought a hearty bean soup and a vegetarian vegetable-mushroom soup to the table, which helped our men and women to recover after boating. It is important to note that most of the soup ingredients were grown in local, lovingly tended Latvian soil. They were prepared by the owners of Lante Manor. Many thanks to them!

The evening programme surprised us, as our great colleagues Anita and Denijs had made sure that this boat trip and its conclusion would be more memorable than ever:

six teams, six sports disciplines: “How much do you know about Kurbads” quiz, acrobatic stunts, extreme water slide, mini golf under the guidance of professional Toms Hartmanis, SUP board speed races, and archery under the guidance of expert Andis Pikāns. Anyone who has been to sports games with their parents as a child will agree that such recreation creates some of the happiest childhood memories. But for parents, there is nothing more satisfying than the laughter of children. That is why this year’s entertainment was not only for adults – the youngest boaters also found endless fun on the inflatables, drawing, badminton and many other activities.

We do not know if Imants Ziedonis was also inspired by Litene when he wrote his Colourful Tales, but we inadvertently divided ourselves into White, Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow teams. The fastest and most erudite team this year was the strong men of White, with Yellow coming a close second, but Blue taking an honourable third place.

Just before going to bed, Elizabete and Nauris created a musical atmosphere for us around the campfire, which even turned into a little shamanic ritual during the evening. Accompanied by the steady rumble of raindrops and the wonderful symphony of acoustic guitar strings and drums, a wonderful and slightly magical atmosphere was conjured up around the campfire, so that colleagues could unite not only physically, but also spiritually, by performing the most popular Latvian songs together.

The voices of our colleagues and their singing along, as well as the smooth swaying to the music, once again showed us that the spirit of togetherness is the key to our success. Perhaps this was one of the supernatural healing practices we read about in the stories, sent to us in gratitude by Mother Nature? Perhaps. But it certainly wouldn’t have been possible without the heartfelt kindness of our colleagues, the soulful sound of music and the symphony created by the play of campfire light that shone in our faces. This wonderful cocktail of feelings allowed us to go to bed filled with happiness.

Another earthy morning dawned, and we rose with the first strong rays of the sun. As usual, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast together, and shortly before the boat trip continued, we got some good exercise, waking up our bodies and spirits with the help of our yoga instructor Ieva. Henrijs surprised all the boaters with a spontaneous decision that he’d made the night before around the campfire – everyone should learn the “Pankūku dancis” – latvian traditional folk dance. Who knows, maybe in the future there will be a folk dance group Kurbads?

A few more hours on the River Pededze and the sixteenth Kurbads boat trip was over. We would like to express our gratitude to the host of Aizupieši, Anna, for such a naturally beautiful, well-kept campsite and for such a warm welcome and involvement. is one of the best campsites we have stayed at in our entire experience of sixteen years.

We have once again seen that we can both be proud of our success in our field, as well as the great employees who not only work better than the vehicles we drive on a daily basis, but also work exceptionally well together in our leisure activities.

Thank you all for a great time and see you next year for the seventeenth Kurbads boat trip!  May the sun warm you and the wind of togetherness blow in the sails of your life!