Rafting on the Nile
From Entebbe we headed across to Jinja, a bus trip of three hours or so. As well as being the hardest place in the world for Jesper to say (he doesn’t pronounce ‘J’s), Jinja (or ‘Yinya’) is also the adrenalin capital of east Africa. Here you can bungee jump (‘bunyee yump’?) to your heart’s content but I’ve done that before, ticked it off and have no real desire to spend loads of money to do it again. As Jinja is the source of the Nile, there was only one thing on my mind – whitewater rafting. Bring it on!
Sixteen of us did the rafting so we split into two groups of eight. The rapids we were to face were graded from one to five, the latter being the most dangerous. The grade five rapid certainly lived up to its grading, swatting our boat like a fly. As it flipped, ‘Sergeant’ Mike Mahoney flew over my head, booting off my helmet in the process. As I scrabbled about under water for what seemed like an eternity, my entire life flashed before my eyes. There are a lot of years to get through, so I must have been submerged for a while!
When I eventually surfaced, the respite didn’t last long. I came face to face with Joe, who himself was desperately splashing about. Even in that split-second, it registered with me that I had never seen someone looking so petrified. He jumped on me for safety but only succeeded in pushing me back under. As I valiantly fought for my life, my head bobbing out of and then being pushed back into the water by an ever more frantic Joe, I could hear Jesper’s voice in the distance shouting at him.
Finally I freed myself but then hurtled down the River Nile at breakneck speed. I managed to push away from some rocks without doing myself too much damage, then had to fight against the current to try and get further into the middle and away from more danger. Along the way, I collected three paddles from colleagues who had been similarly tossed like lettuces, and as the force of the river subsided, was eventually greeted by Jesper who was holding my helmet and, having witnessed my misfortune, was grinning like a Cheshire cat. An Anglo-Swedish war was averted only by my gratitude that the River Nile had spared me further, with the only battle scar a small cut to my head caused by ‘Sergeant’ Mike’s paddle.
So much fun!! If you get the chance, DO IT!!