Sunday, August 22, 2010

Swimming on the Zambezi

A few days ago I took a swim down rapid number 3 on the Zambezi, not much fun! Number 3 is a huge wave train, much bigger and longer than the Silverback rapid on the Nile which is the closest thing I can compare it too. Capsized on the second wave and couldn't manage my roll on such big water. I've looked at a video of my roll since and am shocked at how lazy I've got doing it! Definitely needs improvement, it generally works (only being let down the once!) but on big water like out here it is much harder than at home.

This river is truly massive. It's definitely a step up from the Nile and I'm definitely being challenged here. Rapids are longer, bigger and more consequential than anything I've ever done before. Number 3 is one of the easier ones!

Not to be deterred I took one day rest and went paddling again the day after. Rest days are important out here. My swim was after 5 days consecutive paddling and I should have taken a rest. No issues for me this time, however there was a bit of a epic when two paddlers decided to walk of at rapid 18 after one of them lost a paddle. 18 supposedly has a path, but the lads didn't find it and eventually ended up climbing up vertical rock face! We spent a few hours driving around the bush looking for them, luckily finding them (with the aid of a local farmer) just before dark. We arrived back in Livingstone after 7pm when the original plan was to get back in time to watch the New Zealand v South Africa game at 3.00!

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