Awesome Time!!!

Trip Start Sep 15, 2009
Trip End Nov 21, 2009

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Where I stayed
Nile Resort

Flag of Uganda  , Jinja,
Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fast forward to the next day when I woke up at 9am in a blistering hot tent and a wicked hangover. Luckily I didn't sleep any later than that because I was going whitewater rafting at 9:30 and didn’t want to miss that.  There were six of us that signed up for the Extreme Rafting Experience which meant harder rapids, a smaller boat, and more money.  Amongst the six were two girls from our group who were apprehensive at first but we convinced them into it. There were two groups of us but the other group were only doing the mild rapids.  WIMPS!!!  The six of us set out on our little raft with our raft leader named Tim from the US.  We were given the intro on what to do, how to paddle, and how to survive when we fall out.  And I mean….when we fall out!  Our first rapid was a Class III.  No problem for us.  The next one was a Class V which is the hardest classification rafters are supposed to go down.  The name of it was Big Brother and it was mean.  As soon as we went down into it, our raft got tossed so dam hard I didn’t realize what happened.  I was under for what seemed like forever.  I panicked a bit and tried climbing my way to the top for air.  I climbed and climbed and really couldn’t find it all that well.  I even opened my eyes to see if I was above the surface but all I saw was green.  I made it up to the top and took a half breath along with some of the Nile because I was pulled back under.  I quickly came back up and just let the rapid take me and was quickly scooped up the safety kayaks.  During my underwater swim, the thought came to me that I wasn’t going to make it but afterward I realized that if you just stay relaxed and calm under the water, it will quickly be over and you don’t use up all your oxygen so quickly.   Even though it was a bad toss, I thought it was pretty fun and was ready for more.  In total there were four Class V rapids, four Class IV rapids, and two Class III rapids.  The next rapid was a Class IV and we made it just fine through it.  Followed by a Class V rapid which we somehow made it without flipping.  Then a Class IV and again we somehow got tossed by the rapid but not nearly as hard as the first one.  We all made it back to the boat pretty easily and I could see the girls were having a hard time with the tossing part.  As for us guys, we were loving every minute of it!  We stopped for lunch at an island called "Lunch Island."  Then we set off again and were back at it again.  The afternoon part was fun but a big boring at times because we had to paddle sometimes 30 minutes to reach the next rapid.  We got tossed yet again on a Class V rapid and it was AWESOME!!   Our raft leader couldn’t figure out why we kept flipping.  I didn’t really care why as long as we didn’t hit any rocks.  Our last rapid of the day was the Mack Daddy of our trip.  It actually started as a Class VI but then went down to a Class V.  We had to get out of the raft and bypass the Class VI.  Some porters were there to carry the raft which was nice.  The Class V we were getting ready to do had a few different ways to go.  The first was the safety way, the other was called 50/50 because you may or may not make it.  The final way was in to a place called the "Bad Place."  The Bad Place was for the insane because it had a sharp drop into kind of recycling vortex that is pretty much guaranteed to hold you under if you fell into it.  We opted to try 50/50 because the woman didn’t want the insane way.  Right before we were to set off, the woman didn’t want to go and went with the safety boat.  Us four guys were happy to still go the 50/50 way because we had watched a video the previous night of a group trying Bad Place and they just got hammered really bad.  -So we set off for 50/50 which was only about a foot away from Bad Place and we were immediately in some rough water.  We had a few hard short strokes to paddle to make it there and we tried our best to listen to our raft leader.  We tried but failed as usual.  The next thing we knew our raft leader was yelling, “We’re going to Bad Place” at the top of his lungs.  It was kind of a blur as to what happened but we went right into it and listened to him as to when to paddle or else we would get caught in the middle of it.  Us four paddled really hard and miraculously made out of Bad Place without getting flipped.  Next we had to contend with the after effects of it and again we dug in hard and paddled hard but the next thing I knew, the raft leader behind me snatched my paddle from me because he lost his.  A few more ups and downs and we made it through the it all with a great feeling!  Our raft leader had been rafting for about 5 years prior to this and said he has only flipped about 10 times on his previous rivers.  In only 5 months time on the Nile, he said he has flipped about 70 times.  And we had 3 good flips to add to his total.  And he has only attempted Bad Place four or five times and came out alive only once.  So we did pretty well and were also a bit lucky.  All in all, we all had a blast out there and very glad we got the chance to raft on the longest river in the world! 

I did splurge for the video of most of it and hope to put it on my Google Picasso when I return!  It's really funny to see  us all flip so easily!!
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cwald on

So cool! You rafted the mighty Nile and survived! Sounds a little scary, but fun!

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