Here is a look at our new cover for the DVD. We haven’t confirmed how we will sell or distribute this yet so please keep an eye on the blog for further details. Happy Paddling
Well, it’s been a while in coming, but the finishing touches are being put to the Kenya expedition film, and we are pleased to announce that it ill be Premiering at Plas Y Brenin on the 31st of March, 8pm. All welcome…
We are also pleased to say that ITV Wales featured the expedition on the news this evening (Wed 13th March), you can watch the piece here: http://www.itv.com/wales/kayakers-african-tales07961/
We are really excited to share the whole story of our adventures with everyone back home, and of course we will be on hand to answer any questions that you may have.
Hey its taken a while but please have a quick look at our little teaser from the trip in November.
Please check back in a few days as we continue with the edit and hopefully we’ll be able to share the real stories at the forthcoming lecture tour. Alternatively book on a course at Plas y Brenin and you’ll get to see the show for free.
A few weeks have passed since our return and its gone so quick. If we weren’t on the water (rivers have been up loads recently) then we have been trying to sift through albums and albums of photos, selecting the good ones for the lecture tour.
I have also had the laborious task of editing the footage, cutting it into usable lengths and discarding the rubbish. What I will say is we have plenty to choose from, the total now stands at 4-5hrs.
I’ll try and keep you posted and look forward to sharing the movie with you all soon.
The expedition is drawing to a close, we are all in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, ready for a day of tat shopping and coffee before flying home on Saturday morning. First a quick round up of the past couple of days.
Yesterday saw us going to look at some drops and having a check out of some of the larger drops in the area, and running a couple, including a first descent of a fall that we had spotted a couple of days ago, just to whet our appetites further for returning to this amazing whitewater destination.
Today the team ticked off our 6th first descent in Kenya, and possibly the best river of the trip (although I disagree as I wasn’t on the river today, due to the previous day’s antics). The Thika is only an hour out of Nairobi, and has a multitude of Norwigen-esq slides and drops, and was a fitting highlight and finale to a massively successful expedition.
We have all had a brilliant time out here in Kenya, and are looking forward to sharing our experiences during the forthcoming lecture tour. As we mention elsewhere, if you are involved with a club, centre or organisation, and are interested in hosting a lecture then please get in touch.
Firstly, apologies for the long delay in blog updating, the internet has been most third world (as expected) and we wanted to make this post a good one.
Since the last update we have completed a further 3 first descents in Kenya, bringing our current total to 5 first’s during this trip.
Immediately after our last update, the rivers flowing directly from the flanks of Mount Kenya went from runnable to flood state so we returned to Savage Camp Sagana to plan our remaining time in Kenya.
On our way towards the mountain we had crossed a river, after asking around we found that nobody had looked at the lower section which from the map seemed to have plenty of gradient, so with our interest aroused we headed over to look, and discovered a complete gem of a river. The Lower Nyamindi has some perfect moves through some amazing rock architecture, and plenty of excellent rapids to maintain interest throughout the journey. As we had planned, we paddled this with James Savage, Operations Manager at Savage Wilderness, and were really surprised and impressed with how well he fitted in the team.
The next day saw us heading out again into the same area, to attempt a second descent of the Thiba (that hasn’t been paddled since 2001) but we got carried away, and headed further upstream above the original put-in to the next bridge. This river was really enjoyable, with large ledge drops interspersed with grade 3 whitewater until 2/3rd of the way into the run we had to call an end to our descent and exit to the road, giving us another good story for the lecture tour.
After all the excitement and work of the previous few rivers, we went to explore the Gura river, and were rewarded with one of the best grade 2’s any of us had ever paddled. We had put on knowing that the river had an easy gradient and were hoping for a relaxed first descent. What we found was a stunning run through a deep valley, with surf waves too numerous to count, the vast majority with eddy service, and a chance to have an stress-free first descent and rest ready for the next couple of days that we have planned.
We only have two days of boating left before preparing to return home, but will try to update before our return to the UK.
Sunday saw us complete the first descent of the Ruguti river. The catchment falls from the flanks of Mount Kenya and is the next river valley beyond the Thutchi River, which Adam completed the first descent on back in 2008.
The Ruguti starts with a bang, within 100 meters of the bridge is a very photogenic class grade 4 drop. This is instantly followed by a steeper and bigger drop (we portaged this …) and made progress on the very continuous grade 2-3 that followed, interspersed with several grade 4’s. The river was awesome, around 17km and very continuous, well worth a second descent, it took us nearly 7 hours so plan for a long day.
Yesterday we scouted a few more rivers in the area and had a slight rest day although I wouldn’t call driving around in Toyota Forerunner much of a rest.
Today we completed our second first descent out in Kenya. The North Mara is similar in size although the overnight rain raised the level and changed the colour slightly. A great fast flowing start quickly led to some good grade 3 & 4 rapids before the river started to gorge up slightly. There followed several more good rapids, before an early exit from the river and a quick visit to a doctors clinic (don’t worry, we all seem to be ok at the moment…).
Yes you guessed it Pete got hurt, well bitten by a MASSIVE snake according to him, however you’ll have to come to one of our lectures to find out the truth!
More exploring to come tomorrow
After a few days of running some staff training for Savage Wilderness Safaris’ (Whitewater Kenya) and a couple of warm up runs on rivers close to Savage Camp Sagana, we are feeling acclimatized and are heading out from our base camp for some adventures on the rivers flowing off Mount Kenya.
For our warm up runs we started on the Mathioya River, a boulderesque ledge drop style run, with one portage. This, at grade 3 with a few 4’s was an excellent warm up, and a great treat coming out of the UK to jump on a river in 30 degree temperatures, with warm water.
Then followed a day of running WWSR training for the local raft guides, and an AWWSR course for a couple of people looking to go through their 5*.
Today Spike and Dan ran the main section on the Tana River, in high water, along with local paddlers Chris and Ibrahim, who are going through the BCU 5* Assessment, while Adam rafted the same stretch. This stretch was reckoned by Spike to be one of the world’s best one-day trips. The river was excellent, with continued whitewater interest and more than a little adrenaline from the constant reminders from the locals’ to be on ‘Wildlife watchout’. Pete took the morning out to rest his shoulder, which is recovering from a recent injury.
The afternoon saw Spike covering more of the Advanced WWSR syllabus, while the rest of us prepared for our upcoming Mount Kenya trip, gathering supplies in the local village (including two Pangas for Pete and Dan) and trying to find a cooking pot. This quick trip became very eventful as the 4×4 refused to start while we were in the village, then discovering that the lock on the outside didn’t work – after locking it…
Tomorrow we have an early start as we go and scope out the run’s we have identified on the map, and make a final decision on which run looks good to go first – an update will follow in a few days.
Well, we’ve arrived safely in Kenya, settled in to our base camp and have started to paddle & warm up. We ran two sections yesterday, and today we were involved in a little Safety & Rescue training with our hosts (which had been agreed beforehand). Tomorrow we are running the Tana river, before starting to explore some rivers on the flanks of Mt Kenya.[/caption)
We’re all rather excited now as the time has come to leave! We will be updating this blog sporadically as internet access and adventures allow.
I went for a quick spin in my Shiva yesterday morning, to dial it in and check the outfitting – I’m really excited to be using it in Kenya in 48 hours.
Cant wait to share all our adventures with yourselves upon return.