Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Living through the Nile

The view from our personal porch at The Nile Porch

After a few days in Uganda, we were ready for a vacation. Really, Jason was ready. He had been in Rwanda for 4 weeks and was ready for some time away from his research and work. He had planned a 3-day holiday for Mark and I at the Nile River Explorers Camp. This camp was for people who were brave (and crazy) enough to raft the Nile. Most of the campers were backpackers and thrill seekers. I was just there because of my crazy husband. The camp ground had a dorm, tents with small beds (where Mark stayed) and some really nice private suites for those that wanted to pay more. Jason and I opted for the really nice private suites. This consisted of a big tent with two double beds, a sitting area, outdoor private bath, and a breathtaking view of the Nile from our own private porch. My favorite part was the hammock that overlooked the river.

Our private suite

Our front door. Can you see the bath to the right of the tent?

Inside the tent

My favorite place

Mark's modest place

After two nights of rest, we awoke early one morning not realizing that we were about to look death in the eye. We decided to do the grade 5 rapids (in the US you have to have certification to do grade 5). We went through a total of about 7 major rapids. The first two we cleared (only Mark did get thrown). The third, we did not. It was the longest rapid of the day and our boat turned over at the beginning. We all got a taste of what it would feel like to drown. We were under water instantly and the waves kept pushing us under so that we had to wait till the waves died down before our life jackets carried us up for air. I was terrified. We had a total of 8 people on the boat and it took us at least 20 minutes to find all of them. Needless to say I was a bit tense going through the rest of the rapids that day. But we made it through them all without falling out again. Afterwards we had a big meal and drank a few beers with our fellow rafters. It was quite a memory!

View of Nile river rafters from our room

Jason and Mark calming down after rafting

"Yes, honey, I still love you even after you made me do grade 5 rapids."

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