December 24, 2007

Christmas in Uganda

I’ve been in Uganda for just over a week now and what a week it’s been. After a long, delayed and generally chaotic flight myself and Jon Best, arrived safely in Entebbe. We'd planned to stay in over but given we were late at getting there, we made the journey over to Eden Rock at the start of the day one section that night. The drive is actually quite long, maybe an hour and a half (I've lost tracked of actual time here) and as it was dark I didn't get to see much, which made it more of a shock to wake up next to the Nile the next day.

We paddled the day one section to start off Saturday, I was pretty keen to say the least. Despite seeing most of the rapid on video beforehand, nothing prepares you for it! There's so much volume pumping through, there's more gradient than I’d expected and it's really wide. I did pretty good, rolling here and there, but it was really fun, I think I handled it better than the boys expected me too! It's a short run the day one section, about 5 or 6 rapids, two really big ones and you can be done in a half hour. When you get to the bottom there's a big hill and then the boda boda (mopeds) come get you. Actually that's pretty crazy, as soon as you step outside of Eden Rock they surround you all asking you to pick them as your lift, I was kinda intimidated at first but quickly got the hang of it. Riding the boda bodas is such a cool experience. You put your kayak on your lap and ride behind them, I was pretty scared at first but it's not as bad as you'd think!

Sunday we had decided to head down to the Hairy Lemon, an island at the bottom of the river, about an hour or so away. As Jon had done 3 runs the day before he stayed at Eden Rock, and I went with our friend from home, Pas Blackwell and an Aussie, Lachie, to for a quick run of the day one again. I was having an awesome run until Silver Back; it huge! It's an achievement to get the whole way up right. So I dropped down into it, got thru the first wave fine then hit maybe the second or the third and got back looped and smacked my paddle across my face. I rolled up and just felt blood all over my face. I was laughing as I paddled back to the side but I think it was the adrenaline helping! It was pretty weird and scary to see blood dripping all over boat, things always look a lot worse in water! I cut my nose at the top but it's pretty much healed itself and thankfully it wasn’t broken, just still feeling pretty sore a week on.

We spent a couple of days at the Lemon, paddling Nile Special in the afternoons; it’s coming up high enough to paddle on and not use the rope which is awesome. After that we met up with some more Brits back at Eden Rock and ran the day one section some more. So far we’ve had 3 bashed noses out of us lot and a nasty swim out of the pourover on Rib Cage for Gav, and there’s a few people walking around on crutches or bandaged up. Not wanting to feel left out Jon decided to step on a tent peg, unfortunately it went straight in between his big toe and the next and split about a centimetre hole wide open in there. Off to the Soft Power clinic for us to stitch him up and now he’s paddling with a plastic bag taped to his foot.

It’s been pretty eventful so far and a whole lot of fun. We’re at the Hairy Lemon again now, enjoying good water levels and awesome surfs. This place is paradise!

Jon's blogged on, he's got some of my photos up there

Happy Christmas everyone!




Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive