Some days later, I had the chance to meet up with even more fellow panners: Andrew, Dave and Tony! They had also agreed to take me panning and after a rainy, somewhat unsuccessful week on my own, I was really looking forward to company.
Same as Hamish, they also travelled quite far to the meetup, and also them and I instantly clicked and got along great. Contrary to me, they specify in sniping the gold off the bedrock, which means they have to wear dry-suits and snorkelling-gear. At first, it was quite an unusual sight for me to see three grown men lying face down in a shallow river, but I soon saw the fun of it and all the advantages one has with this strategy. Who knows, maybe, I'll try it myself next year!
We panned two days in a row. Sure enough, I also picked up many great tips from the three of them. Dave taught me speedpanning and its benefits. I haven't quite mastered it yet, but I'm working on it. Andrew and Tony (lending me his waders) had an impressive amount of geological knowledge and gold in general. And all three had an eye for the right spots of where to find stuff. And so I struck it lucky, too!
Again, I am very thankful for meeting all of you lovely people. It was a blast and I hope it wasn't the last time we panned together!