Germans to swim 500 km to North Sea with pet ducks

Mon Aug 2, 2010 6:47am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Two Germans set out on an unusual summer holiday on Monday, beginning a 500 km (311 miles) swim down a river from central Germany to the North Sea with seven pet ducks.

Starting in the town of Kassel, 33-year-old Pia Marie Witt, 58-year-old Wilfried Arnold and their ornithic companions will swim down the Fulda and Weser rivers, hoping to reach the North Sea port of Bremerhaven by mid-September.

The pair says that the journey is about self-fulfillment.

"It's our version of the pilgrimage to Santiago," Arnold told German radio network Hessische Rundfunk.

Witt and Arnold aim to swim 10 to 15 km per day -- an order too tall for the seven runner ducks, which will swim for about 20 minutes a day, following by car or boat when exhaustion kicks in.

(Reporting by Max Chrambach; editing by Paul Casciato)