rips and Expeditions for 2002
Island Blue Again - December 2002
One visit to paradise is never enough! The forest was lush and life brimmed everywhere after the first rains of the season. Each discovery more breathtaking than the last and then the denouement of the terrible secret that lies in the midst of the splendour. How our profligacy has destroyed our land and its people!
Ash River - December 2002
The only river south of the Zambezi with water and it was running at record levels. Fast with lots of strainers and ice cold *brrr* A nice days run and you can schnack dikkus in beautiful Clarens afterwards.
Swiftwater Rescue Course - November 2002
Strainers, foot entrapments, deadly boat eating swimmers and enough rope to hang an army with. Hugh was in his element setting the problems and watching us @#$@ them up completely! A major wake up call and full on experience at the same time.
iSLAND bLUE - October 2002
Paradise found, if only for a brief moment. Blue green pools, tingling waterfalls and incredible geology in a place that is remaking itself as you watch. Everybody came away with a sense that they had really experienced something very special.
Kayak Intro Day - October 2002
With the start of the wet season it was time to get some new people into the boats. Sometimes they were a bit younger than expected (and occasionally of a different species) but it was all lots of fun.
Formal Dinner - October 2002
Tuxedos, long dresses and a five course meal in a forest grove on the farm Diepkloof in the heart of the Soupansberg mountains. The venue was breathtaking, the food, haute cuisine and the Aussies lost the cricket match on Sunday - Hoorray.
Lake Victoria Circumnavigation Expedition - July to September 2002
Paul and Chris spend 5 weeks on the water with a small motor and a powerkite in a brave attempt to see as much of the lake as possible. We are glad they are both out of hospital at last. An epic trip that will see a full write up as soon as they are recovered enough to tell us about it.
Well, it was there so we climbed it ! And of course it was a huge epic - take two sport climbers and a very-out-of-practice trad climber and send them to climb a huge inselberg in the middle of the Namibian desert and what else would you expect <grin>. It made for a very umm, memorable (?) trip ... and the eye candy in Windhoek was just a bonus.
We worry about Archie and Marietjie. Really we do !! Sensible, normal people would have gone climbing at Spitzkop, but no, they insisted that they wanted to go hiking in the snow on the 'Berg.
In the Magoebeskloof mountains of Limpopo Province is the Wolkberg Wilderness area. The whole area is dominated by Serala peak. Paul, Joey and Holger went to have a look.
Dragon Boat Festival - May 2002
11 metres long with a well disclipined crew of 16, drummer, Karen, and El Kapitan, Tony, the Explorer's Dragon really flew. Three wins and two losses and it was a great day's racing in the Autumn sun. Pictures soon.
Time to get in some late season paddling in the Bulungapoort gorge and to ride the Ngulube Classic Mountain Bike race through Mlilwane Game Reserve. Lots of fun was had with the Pioneer Adventure Club who joined in. Awicked run of the waterfall by the Raw brothers enlivened things.
A group from the CSIR and Brandcliff High School came along to find what everbody from the previous year had raved about. Clear skies, full moon and lots of water not to mention Bridget's fantastic catering - Life is beautiful. If you are not a member but would like to come along in September have a squiz at our Orange River rafting trips page
Sea and sand and sundowners on the beach - the truly beautiful hike in the spectacular dunes of Alexandria Bay in the Eastern Cape is just a wonderful way to idle away one of those long teacher's holidays that Heidi is known for. With a first descent of the Aliwal Spa just to make things interesting !
Working at Iscor means you get to take long holidays. And Marietjie is a teacher so she gets long holidays too (and afternoons off). So Archie and Marietjie and friends (who also work at Iscor or are teachers) took a week off to do the Vioolsdrif to Sendelingsdrif section of the Orange River.
With still more leave to use up Archie and Marietjie dragged a whole bunch of different friends (who probably also teach at Iscor) down the Skuitdrif to Pelladrif section of the Orange River. Some people just have it so tough <grin>.
Deep crystal clear pools and continous class 2 and 3 creeking - thats what we were expecting. A desperate shortage of water mean't we didn't see too many rapids but it was nevertheless an inspiring trip through the Lesotho mountains.
Jono bought a brand new kayak ... and (in a momentary lapse of reason) decided that the tight and steep Upper Letaba was the perfect place to give it some character ! It turned out to be spectacularly pretty ... and very creeky ... and Jono's beloved old Diablo is now sulking in the garage !
With all the local rivers feeling the lack of rain it was time to head for Swaziland and the mighty Usutu - and the big'ish rapids and holes, not to mention the waterfalls, the portages and fixing Maria's car made for a very memorable trip.
Kayak School II - March 2002
Interest from the rolling clinics and the reportbacks from November's school was so good that we put together another school with a fresh 7 particpants. Again Hugh had to rescue many swimmers and dispense lots of advice to save us from ourselves. Anybody up for a swiftwater rescue course next season?
Vaal River Introductory Trip - Feburary 2002
In a spirit of mad evangelicism to share our passion for rivers (well , actually to raise much needed funds for new rafts) we dragged 10 of Sharon's students from Midrand Graduate Institute down the Vaal one Sunday - and by all accounts they had a fine time. Some of them were even keen to come back for more !
With kayaking catching on in a big way it seemed a good idea to start teaching people to Eskimo roll - so one Sunday afternoon in the pea-green Hyde Park School pool five intrepid beginner's submitted themselves to our tender mercies and by the end of the afternoon we had 3 and two halves rollers. And the next weekend we did it all over again ...
A much lower river level this year made for a mellower trip compared to the rollercoaster ride the previous year - but there was still a lot of swimming done and the expressions on Marietjie's face alone were worth the trip !