Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back home

I'm now back home a week and very much missing Africa! I've all my photos up online on my Picasa Web Album. Unfortunately I cant upload the video Chris made for some Techey reason.

The flight home was long and fairly uneventfully, apart from a rather impressive looking thunderstorm while flying over the Sudan. I had 2 seats to myself again, this time one of them being a window seat meaning I had a great view of the thunderstorm.

I'll definitely be back to Africa at some point in the future. Unfortunately it probably wont be to Uganda, at least not to Kayak as with out the Silverback run which will be lost to the dam it just wont be worth it to me. Maybe the Zambezi for next year!

Rhino in the conservation park!


Buffalo at Murchison Falls NP

One of the Local Kids carrying a boat up from Superhole

Kids who came out to see the Mazugus who st oped outside their house

This Guy borrowed my boat at the bottom of silverback, despite been way too small and using my paddles upside down he was actually quite a good little paddler!

Myself at Superhole

Hugh going big on Nile Special

Myself at Buj, Despite the sign we ran this many times :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Leaving Day

Today is my last day in Uganda. The time here has relay flew. The last few days have been particularly hectic. Yesterday I had intended to do a few Silverback runs to get some final video footage, particularly of the back channels which we had no footage of. Unfortunately for us we only found out at about 11 that the Dam builders were intending on blasting and we could not paddle after 12 so we just had time to do a normal Silverback run with no video. It felt strange to paddle it for the very last time. It's the best section of river I've ever paddled and with the dam being built I'll never get to paddle it again.

Unfortunately there has been a few problems in Kampala over the last few days with Rioting and roads being blocked. A tribal King was denied access to some part of the country that hes not supposed to go to and an entire tribe took offense. Several people were unable to get to the airport over the last few days so this morning I had to leave early in order to get here before expected rioting started again in Kampala. We passed a few burnt out buses and trucks and the police and army were out in force, but we encountered no problems so I arrived at Enttebe airport, where I am now, with many hours to spare.

I'll be back in Ireland tomorrow so I'll have photos and the video Chris made up soon.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Last week in Uganda

This week will be my last in Uganda, time has passed by so quickly here it doesn't feel like I've been here anywhere near that long.

Since I've come back from the lemon, I've been paddling on the day one section again. mainly Silverback runs with some Superhole sessions and back channels too. Silverback seems much more manageable now than it used to. Its taken a while but now I seem to be able to run all of the rapids clean most of the time, whereas when I first came out any rapid that I didn't roll on became a major achievement.

We've also done plenty of filming. Chris Fischer, who's doing a motorbike tour of Africa is filming plenty of stuff we're doing so we should have a decent video sometime this week. I've taken plenty of pictures with my own camera too. It's good for easy point and shoot pictures, but it generally fails with taking pictures of big rapids as there is too much movement and colours for such a small camera. The zoom isn't great also. I definitely miss using an SLR, I could get much better pictures with one. It was also a loss when on safari when animals were some distance away and I just couldn't get good photos with my little camera.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Murchison Falls Safari

I was also on Safari in the last week. Myself and Tim and Huw from Southampton took three days off to go to Murchison Falls. The Falls themselves are a sight. The whole river Nile slots through a drop about 6 meters wide which makes it the most powerful waterfall in the world. I've got plenty of pictures, but I dont think they come close to catching the power in the water.

We also went on a game drive and a river cruise where we got to see elephants, giraffes, hippos, wildebeest, many types of antelope, even more types of birds, crocodiles and Lions. We than visited a rhino sanctuary where they are raising a heard of rhinos in order to reintroduce them to the park as they became extinct in Uganda during the rule of Idi Amin.

The Safari may have taken 3 days but it was definitely a worthwhile break from paddling. I'm back in Bujagali now and staying at the Eden Rock campsite. Planing on doing plenty of Silverback runs with the camera to get pictures and videos. It's hard to believe that I have less than 2 weeks of my month stay left. The time has flown by.

The Hairy Lemon

I've spent the last week between the Hairy Lemon and a Safari at Murchison Falls National Park. Both were absolutely fantastic.

The Hairy Lemon is a campsite at the end of the day 2 section. Its a fantastic chilled out place to stay. It's in the middle of nowhere, so all there is to do is chill out and go paddling. The day 2 section has some big play waves. I got to session Club Wave and Nile Special which are only a 10 minute paddle from the campsite and also the Mutts Nuts wave which is a much lesser known, but equally good wave on the Hair of the Dog rapid.

Club wave was my personal favorite as I'm not much of a playboater so the fact it was easy to get on made a big difference when most of the time all I'd get was a fount surf before getting wiped out. Mutts Nuts is hard to get on as its a tricky ferry glide and the wave is liable to green out completely at any time, normally just before I was about to surf it. Even Finn and Hugh who are fantastic playboaters struggled to catch it at times.

Nile Special is probably the best wave here but it takes a long time to master the rope needed to get onto it. I managed a few surfs towards the end of my sessions but that was all I could do on it.