Dreaming of a White Nile Christmas
On December 7th, only twenty minutes after finishing my last final paper for fall term, I walked up to the check in desk for NorthWest Airlines.
"Anything to check, Mr. Ross?"I handed her my gear bag and pointed behind me where my kayak sat wrapped up and concealed. "Yes Ma'm, just this and my surf bag." She looked at me puzzled. "Are there any waves to surf in Uganda?" A little smile crossed my face, because now my dreams of a big-water Christmas were becoming very real. "I hope so, Ma'm." After 28 hours of plane rides and customs checkpoints I landed in Kampala, where I was picked up by my good friend Karl (See more of him at http://www.epicocity.com/) and his girlfriend Tara. I had just met his dad on the flight from Amsterdam, but I'm 90% sure he would have picked me up anyway. They waited for an hour for us to appear out of customs, watching my kayak run laps around the baggage carousel. The Day One Section... The first section of whitewater, commonly referred to as Day One, begins at the Nile River Explorers bar and ends at a rapid called Itunda. After the entrance ramp (which can only be described as a leap of faith into an unpredictable but luckily non-retentive hole) most paddlers take a few seconds to roll up and orient themselves. The next move is to ferry across the backwash of a hole named The Pencil Sharpener (see the author in the above photo) and avoid the next one called The Cuban (see below).
Just downstream is an island resort called The Hairy Lemon, where fifteen dollars a day buys camping, all you can drink tea, three solid meals a day and back-yard access to Nile-Special.
After three weeks of areal moves, ant attacks, and big-water beatdowns, this was the only sticker remaining on my boat. Go CKS!!!