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

Pictures from the last week

Check out Mikes blog too:


Day 1: Okay so after chilling out with Lizzy in the meadows of Nottingham I caught the bus to Heathrow airport ready to finally say goodbye to Europe and hello to Africa! I boarded with my boat and everything all sweet. My itinerary had me flying London-Amsterdam-Johannesburg. However when I went to board my plane to Johannesburg in Amsterdam I was informed that they had overbooked the plane so I, along with 4 South African dudes had to stay in Amsterdam and KLM(Our airline) was to rebook us on the next flight to Johannesburg. Because of this error, KLM put us up in a 5star Hotel in Amsterdam for the night and rebooked us onto the same flight the following day. We were also funded with 600euro cash to compensate!!Along with meals and vouchers for duty free and other goodies! I was pretty stoked to be honest! I went into Amsterdam and enjoyed the sites and atmosphere. It was my first time in Amsterdam(and the Netherlands) and I quite enjoyed my stay. A really vibrant city, just have to watch that you don’t get run over by one the many cyclists!!!
The four South African dudes that were with me were really cool. We had many laughs and they even helped me with my University work! I am doing a paper on Development and Inequality and a big part of this papers content is to do with South Africa and its history of apartied etc. We spent about 5hours on the plane in deep discussion about topics such as Ethnicity and inequality.
On Saturday night I arrived in the very big city, 1600m above sea level, Johannesburg. Finally I made it to South Africa!!! I was greeted by Mike who had managed to fly in that morning. We headed to a backpackers after negotiating our way through some dodgy streets in Joburg, it is one city you want to know exactly where you are going in. Since my arrival here last night I have seen so much! Wow! I am having an amazing time already, soaking in this amazing place full with such a strong and evident culture. We left Joburg early this morning and headed towards the Krugar National Park. I have never seen so many people walking along the side of the motorway and hitchers! We saw South African countryside along with slums and areas that were so locked up they looked like prisons. Most people we have encountered have seemed super friendly. We stopped on the side of the motorway to take some photos of the scenery at one point and found ‘CRIME ZONE’ written all over the ground!So we got back in the car and left pretty quickly.
After a few hours of Driving Mike and I made it to the Krugar National Park of South Africa!!!And what an amazing day it really was. The park is so beautiful and we saw Lions, Hyennas, elephants, buffalo, leopards, hippos, urangatangs, giraffes, antelopes and all kinds of birds! We were lucky enough to get up close to some Elephants who crossed the road right in front of us, the other carload of people sped away but we stayed right up close!AWESOME!!! So far Africa has been so amazing. I am having such a great time. Oh yea, and what amazing sunsets!
Day 2: Today we got up at 5am and went to the Krugar National Park to capture the sunrise and animals that are hard to see during the day. We got up close to a pack of rhinos which was very exciting! Also a monkey carrying its baby in the front! Giraffes, elephants and lions were also out and about! We then left the Zululand and headed on a rather scenic route towards the ocean. Following some of the smaller roads we travelled through some remote yet beautiful mountains!!Today for me was a real South African experience. We saw Slums and small villages, drove through amazing mountains and saw a lot of the South African culture. The little stalls on the side of the road, the never ending gravel streets and settlements of both the high society and the extreme poor. We actually drove down a road that had only had 5cars before us (As we had to sign a sheet to drive there)!!!I think we were a little off the beaten track. I saw soo much. We eventually arrived in a beautifu bay where we checked in to a sweet resort and had fresh fish from the Indian Ocean for dinner.
Day 3: We were in Sodwana Bay. Amazingly beautiful Bay. Last night the place we checked in to was in the middle of the Game National Park, and really close to the sea. It turns out Sodwana Bay is one of the top ten Dive destinations in the World! Super cool! We took our kayaks out in the surf and had a fruit smoothie at the cafe on the beach. We then cruised to the motorway heading for Durban. In South Africa there are always people on the side of the road either hitching or selling fruit or working. We stopped off in a small seaside town on the way called Mthzini. Absolutely beautiful once again! We drove round and there were loads of monkeys and other cute looking creatures, until the monkeys started throwing fruit at Mike!!Haha, was very cool and funny. We couldn’t find the backpackers we were looking for ‘Natures Way Backpackers’(Turns out its super cool and at night they have fires and zebra’s and other animals wander around and you stay in straw huts!!, ah well) we unfortunately had to carry on as we did not see the backpackers. But we made it to the third largest city in SA, Durban! We made it here at night and it is really nice looking. We checked in to this really cool backpackers right on the beachfront and it is nice and lively. There are even some Auzzy chicks which are always good for a bit of banter!

Day 4: This morning we awoke to the sound of the nearby ocean. I got up early to quiz the locals on some South African history that I am doing for Uni. Then we cruised off to the Victoria Markets in Durban central. I saw soo many things I wanted to buy and take with me back to NZL! Things are pretty cheap considering what you are getting. I got some really cool pantings for 50r (which is like $8NZL or so! We then arrived back at our accom for some chillout time by the pool and for me to do a bit of study. Then Mike went out for a play in the waves, I finished my Uni paper!!! Then we had a amazing meal cooked by our awesome hosts here.

Day 5: Woke up at 5am this morning and went out in the surf that is literally just opposite our accomm. I watched the sun rise from the surf and was treated to some pretty big waves, reaching 3.5m! Some were really scary to be honest! I was pretty much the only one out in the surf so had the whole ocean to myself. It was such a beautiful morning. I even had a pod of Dolphins join me!It was sooo amazing and cool, they came pretty close to me and then carried on their way. I was so stoked with the paddle in the surf, the sunset and the dolphins! It was magical and I was buzzing for a long time afterwards. Everyone else at the backpackers was supposed to come out with me, but due to a heavy night on the booze were not quite up to it! I had to stay up studying instead so was feeling fresh in the morning! I managed to get my last Test finished and sent in for Massey Uni! Yusss! Another semester down. Today it was Mike’s Birthday, he turned 23! So 5 of the other backpackers and myself took him out to breakfast to celebrate. Mike and I then drove back to Joburg. It was a really scenic drive through the mountains and some amazing landscapes. A thunderstorm hit along the way and it was pretty crazy as. Once we had arrived and settled in to a lodge accommodation we went out to a nice restaurant in the area to celebrate Mikes Birthday. It was delicious!
Day 6: Today we flew to Livingstone in Zambia. We are staying at a really cool backpackers with a nice pool and stuff. Its really great here. Zambia is a bit different to South Africa. Everything here is a bit cheaper. Tomorrow we hit the Zambezi river! It is really BIG apparently and full of crocodiles and hippos!ahhh!!!!!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

SICKLINE EXTREME and Birthday...

The Sickline Extreme World Championships were awesome to watch and there was some really good racing from the Kiwi contingent! Mike had the fastest time of the day and ended up in 2nd to 2008 Canoe Slalom Olympic Gold medalist Alex Grimm. Sam Sutton the other Kiwi finished in 7th. Ciaran Mcardle-Heartau did really well and placed in 12th. There were over 100 competitiors on the start and only 48 went through to the 1st round of head to heads on the Wellerbroker section of the river.
After the race Ciaran, Mike and I journeyed to Munich to get involved in the Oktoberfest...crazy! Then on to Prague to celebrate my 21st Birthday with all my mates:). After an awesome day we then hit the road again and made it to Paris, where we slept for a night with Ciarans mate. Now we have finally made it to the UK where I am catching up with Lizzy and getting lots of things organised before I fly out to Africa tommorrow!!!
Have been having some awesome as times and this last week has flown!
I will try put pics up soon. Check out Mikes blog for more info about our journeys!

Friday, October 02, 2009


Today it was all on here in the Austrian Valley of Otz. With qualifications on the lower section of the Otz River(The Slalom course). The Kiwi boys shot out of the start in true Kiwi style, Mike qualifying in 3rd and Sam Sutton in 8th. Ciaran layed down some fast runs too placing in 12th. Fastest time was by French dude Eric Deguil, followed closely by 2008 Olympic Canoe Slalom Champion Alexander Grimm.
Tommorrow the top 48 paddlers that qualified will compete in a head to head on the knarly as Wallerbroker section!Its going to be exciting to watch for sure:)