Tuesday, December 29, 2009

End of another Epic Year!

Christmas back in Otaki with the parents and my two awesome sisters was really great. We had an awesome time and it was great to be home again. Before Xmas we had a training camp at Mangahau! It was a great success! The Swiss C2 that is currently in NZ came down for it along with Luuka, and Mike and Brent came for a day as well. I felt really good on the water and really enjoyed the training.
I forgot to mention, we had a Slalom Race on the Wairoa the other week. I took out the chicks which was a good feeling. Although my runs were not so smooth and I felt a little weak on the water. All good though. Johann took out the guys, with Bryden and Andrew making a comeback in C2 and Brent winning the C1M.
After Xmas Izzy and I roadtripped up to stay with Heather in Raglan. Its so beautiful there and the surf was epic! We went out to a BOP band, Tahuna Breaks, was really good. We also managed to get in a surf one evening, it was so good to be back out in the surf again!!!
Better cruise. I will be heading to the Coromandel late tonight to celebrate the New Year at Coromandel Gold! Wicked line up... Katchafire, Kora, Shapeshifter, Tiki Taane, Downtown Brown, Recloose and some more wicked bands!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Xmas at the Kaituna

The other day we cruised down the Kaituna on blow up stuff. Was sweet! We had a downriver and freestyle race too. Lou Urwin dominated the Freestyle and I took out the Chicks paddle down the river, Mike took out the Mens Time trial and the Mens freestyle!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Okere Falls-Summertime

I am back living in Okere Falls this summer. It totally rox.
I am living across the road from the river and have been paddling heaps! The other day I followed Sam, Ryan and some of the other boys down the river swimming!It was wicked as.
Heading home to Otaki for Xmas and then Coromandel for New Years!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Being home has been really good. I have had time to catch up on a lot of things I couldn’t do well I was away. It has been very busy though. I have started Summer school and so have lots of study to do. I have also moved up to Okere Falls and once again managed to find a really cool place to live right opposite the river! I am pretty much living here alone at the moment but it is sweet as. I have only really just moved in. There are chickens out the back so I have an endless supply of eggs which is cool.
I have been back to Otaki a few times and caught up with Ma and Pa. Yesterday I went on a mission with Mike and my Slovak friends Monika and Marcel. We camped overnight next to Lake Waikeremoana and then ran/walked the Waikeremoana Great Walk in one day! It is about 46km through bush and up and down hills. It took us about 10hours but that included stops and stuff. Was really beautiful and such an awesome feeling at the end.
For now I am back into training here in Okere Falls on the Kaituna river.
Off to the pool

Monday, November 16, 2009


It has been an amazing last 7months away! I am now Home in New Zealand!!! Thanks so much to everyone who was part of my exciting journey this year. Esp. Mike, we travelled together for most of the trip and everything went so well!Cheers. And to everyone else...you know who you are!:)
NZ summer...lets go!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Ugandan Adventure has continued to be super!!As it turns out there are heaps of Kiwi’s here. This place is dominated by mainly British and Kiwi’s. We have been doing heaps of runs down the Silverback section, up until I had a little mishap where I rolled and broke my paddle and bruised my left arm on a rapid called Bujagali. My arm was pretty sore for a few days but came right pretty quickly and I could paddle again after about 2days, my muscle is just still bruised and swollen. We did a mass group day trip down the second section of the river, called Day2 with heaps of rafts and kayakers, it was really fun. We then cruised down to an Island called ‘The Hairy Lemon’ it is at the bottom of the Day2 kayak leg. It has no power in the dorms and long drops for toilets. You get all your meals cooked for you when you stay there and it is 5mins paddle from 2 awesome play holes, ‘Nile Special’ and ‘Club Wave’. We stayed here for a few days playing cards and doing lots of kayaking. Then cruised back to NRE for some relax and chapatti’s! Yesterday Mike and I kayaked from NRE all the way to the Hairy Lemon. It is about 40km and has a lot of flat sections! It took us about 3hours 30mins but we stopped powering it after 2hours and cruised the rest. We ran everything blind, was sweet though. We ran a rapid called Ithunder which is pretty massive and fun!
We are now preparing to fly home to New Zealand!! We have cruised our way to Kampala and are staying in a backpackers here. I am definitely going to miss life here in Uganda, but really am excited for home in New Zealand!!! I will miss the amazing Chapati’s and Samosa’s and smoothies, lovely people, boda boda’s etc. I won’t miss the crazy drivers, slow service and cars breaking down or running out of petrol! But it has definitely been an awesome experience here in Uganda. Such an amazing time and fun rivers. People here are great and the kayakers are all totally sweet.
So it is the end of such a long journey away from home for me. What an adventure it has been. Starting off in England buying our sweet van, heading into Europe, World Cups, World Champs, Trips to Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Holland and back again to the UK and then finally on to Africa! So many people have helped me out along the way and made for such an amazing year! I have memories that will I am sure last forever. There were Up’s and Down’s but definitely more good times then bad.
Cheers to everyone from Europe and Africa that contributed in whatever way to my fun! Now back to NZ for some summer school, Slalom training, catching up with people, work and more fun in the rivers, mountains and ocean!

Sunday, November 01, 2009



As sad as it was to leave Zambia I was pretty excited for Uganda! We have now been here a few days and are quite settled. There is a bit more of a relaxed lifestyle here, that’s for sure. Uganda is situated about 45km from the equator. On arrival in Entebbe airport the first planes we saw were UN planes. We then were treated so some typical crazy African driving. Uganda is an even more underdeveloped country then Zambia and this was quite noticeable as soon as we arrived.
I love it here so much! Paddling is easy and fun and I am even getting the chance to practice some sweet play moves. We are staying right next to the river at a backpackers place called NRE (Nile River Explorers) and it is at the start of a descent play run called ‘Silverback’. I am really loving it here. Everyday is very chilled out! We wake up, go paddling and then just chill at the bar that is here at the backpackers. There are loads of paddlers around which is cool and makes for lots of fun. The part of Uganda we are in is pretty in the wild. We are staying near a place called Jinja. It is beautiful and green here. After kayaking we catch boda boda’s (little motorbikes) back up the track. The drivers are pretty crazy and you count your lucky stars everytime you make it back unscathed! Outside the backpackers all the locals have their little stalls. Best one is the Chapati stand. A chapatti is like a pancake and each one gets full of whatever you want…omelette, nutella, banana etc. They only cost about 1000 ping each(not even $1 Kiwi) which is awesome coz they full you up! People here are pretty friendly. Yesterday we went on a mission to a playhole called ‘Superhole’. About 10 of us caught a matato(van) up there and it was pretty fun. The van unfortunately ran out of gas so we had to wait by one of the local villages for another van to come for 3hours!!!In Africa anything goes and things are never in any hurry! It was a fun wait though because the locals lit a fire that we danced around and chilled by until the van came. They have the funniest adverts here… like ‘Say no to bad Sex’ and ‘Say no to morning Sex, Africa’ and ‘Shagging a virgin does not cure aids’. They are all trying to promote people using condoms but are worded so funny.
Leela and I caught a boda boda into town the other day and my guys bike ran out of gas so we had to sqeeze onto Leela’s. It was pretty fun. We checked out the markets which are really cool. We got a whole lot of pineapple and mangos and passionfruit and some massive avocados! Awesome. All the local black people call us Mazongu’s(White people) and are always yelling Jumbo Mazungu(Hello white person). Food is really cheap here along with everything else! I had fish curry the other night and it was really good. There is even a local chick that is doing Slalom here. She has put up some flat water gates on the river and has a brand new Vajda boat she got from the ICF. She said Mike and I can borrow it while we are here which is awesome. She wants to train up for the next Olympics.
Sweet, I am off to find some dinner then I think there is a wee party going down here, last night we celebrated Halloween and I painted myself green and went as The Incredible Hulk!
I will try get some pics up soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Markets and back to school

Yesterday was my first day of not paddling, and to be honest I needed the rest! Instead Leela and I went down to the Livingstone markets and traded old clothes and gadgets of ours for there African paintings, jewellery and other gifts. To be honest although it is a lot cheaper over here things still add up! We did pretty well though, I was going to throw most of my old clothes out anyway!
There is a British guy staying at our backpackers who is volounteering at a local primary school to teach soccer. So today I joined him and spent a day as 'Aunty Louise' or 'teacher' with the kids. It was a pretty cool experience. All the kids were really lovely. They all had newspaper over there exercise books and were limited to 3 computers in the whole school! They dominated me in chess though. I told them some Maori myths which I think they might have understood...maybe. I was even treated to a traditional African meal of NhShima with chicken and veges. It was...interesting. Nhshima is the staple food in their diet and it looks like mashed potatoe but tastes like nothing.
Tommorrow is our last day kayaking here on the Zambezi!!!Then off to Uganda for more adventures...
Pics from African Trip thus far...enjoy:)(Click on pics to ENLARGE)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zam Kayaking, 2day venture, Booze cruise, I love Africa:)

Time hear continues to fly with epic adventures. On Thursday we kayaked 1-25 and then caried on down the river till we got to a nice sandy beach where we settled, making it our campsite. The boys built a fire well we relaxed under the hot sun. We were treated to BBQ chicken and sausages and some salad and potatoe, delicious. Then slept under the stars by the fire. It was such a beautiful night, the sky was glowing with lots of stars! The next day we woke with the sun. Packed our gears and carried on down the Zambezi river. We faced a fun new section of whitewater called the 'Narrows'. The wideness of the river shrunk to about 10metres and we were treated to some really fun sections which included whirlpools and some little drops. We were tapping our kayaks the whole way down to warn the crocodiles of our approach. The dudes in the raft said they saw a few crocs quite close to us but I was unaware of their existance. We finished the trip with a swim in the cool waters of the river. I will try get some pics of this trip up when I can.
Last night we went on a 'booze cruise'. Basically we cruised around the river at sunset on a boat with unlimited alcohol! It was awesome and everyone got pretty smashed. We saw some hippos which were cool:).
Today I am catching up on stuff and trying to organise for NZ summer, attempting to have a productive day. It has been a very busy last week with kayaking everyday and not much time for other things.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Zambezii cont...

Continuing to have epic as days out on the mighty Zambezi river, they just get better and better. Havn't seen many crocs yet but a few snakes and spiders and baboons! I got a ride home on the top of a truck last night and had the best views over the land and villages. Tonight we are having a Braii(BBQ) for our porters(Guys that carry our boats!) They do such a good job, esp. my dude Chumar, he takes my boat all the way to the edge of the water. Tommorrow Johno, Leela, Tim and I(along with some other tourists) are doing a two day kayak trip and sleeping overnight at Rapid 17 on a little sand beach just next to the river. It is suppose to be really beautiful. Then Saturday we are cruising up to the Devils pool that is on the edge of Vic falls!
This arvo I am chilling out, the last few days have been full on and all play!
Its too hot to write for now so I am off for a swim in the pool!

Monday, October 19, 2009


We are now in Zambia! It is awesome here. As I write my body feels like its on fire, its pretty hot here and after 6hours of paddling today down the mighty Zambezi river I am feeling the sun!Fortunately over here it tans!
We are staying at a really cool backpakers in town and it has a pool to cool down in. The town is pretty rugged compared to most places I have been this year. You can definately tell its a third World Country. Mike and I met up with another Kiwi dude Blair and an Auzy dude Johno so we have a pretty sweet little crew here. We have been hitting up the Zambezi river from rapid 1-25! Its 35km long! Some of the biggest Whitewater I have ever been in for sure!Its really HUGE!!So much fun. I got pretty dominated my first day but feel quite comfortable now!Yesterday Mike ran the Minus rapids which are Ginormous! I might hit up -1 in a week or so but definately not -2! Man its been some awesome past few days. My body definately needs a massage! People here are great. Today after the paddle I sat on the roof on the truck as we drove back to our accom. We drove through villages full of stick houses and stuff, was pretty eye opening. We also saw elephants and monkeys along the track!
Sweet, We are off to dinner.

Friday, October 16, 2009