Posts Tagged ‘Did something just brush my leg?’

Ohio GnuKid

May 19, 2010

Daa-da-duh-daaa, daa-da-daaaa….*

In a break altogether from pictures from the trip, we take you now to an adventurous day during my ZA trip.

Daughter Person wanted to do everything while on holiday with me.  Of course, there wasn’t enough time in the day (nor Rand in my pocket) to be able to do so.  One thing she really wanted to do was go white water rafting** on the Sabie River.

I was not thrilled at the prospect.

Don’t get me wrong.  I think going white water rafting is a thrill***.  But, in my mind, you can do that anywhere.  Back in the good old U. S. of A.  there are places to go within a half day drive of where I live.  Why would I want to come all the way to South Africa to do something I could do in my (relatively speaking) back yard?

But, the excitement in Girl Child’s eyes countered any arguments already dying on my lips.  We were going to go.

Prepping for the trip, our guides gave a pretty concise overview of what to expect, how to handle the rapids, and what hand signals meant.

On that latter, had to laugh when he indicated one hand signal where he put both hands to his head, opened his eyes extra wide, and opened his mouth in an “O”.  This meant, and I quote, “What the fuck are you doing?”

Knowing my lack of skills in handling watercraft, I paid particular attention (and actually remembered this advice from my earlier experience white water rafting) to what you do if you get tipped out of your (in this case) two-person raft.

–  Put your feet downstream (so as to keep sensitive body parts from the likely rocks)

–  Go with the flow and find a spot you can safely exit the water

–  Most importantly, look professional and smile…there will be cameras and people watching.  You want to make a good impression on both.

Girl Child and I set off with the group going downstream, safely and joyfully passing the first extremely small and slow rapids.  We were enjoying ourselves, seeing the other rafters, watching the birds along the banks, and following the talented guides who made it look easy.

Coming through a particularly narrow section, one of the guides pointed to the river bank and urged those of us who could to come over and look as we paddled past.

A crocodile… okay, not a huge one.  Only about 4 feet long.  But there he was, only a few feet away from us.  Very cool.

A few more rapids down the way, I did the inevitable (though I tried not to) and fell out of the raft.  Following the advice of the guide (especially the “look professional and smile’ part), I let the swift current take me downstream.  Yes, I bashed my knees on a few rocks (Ow!) and couldn’t get out of the water right away, but was finally able to climb up a rock on the side.

Triumph!  I successfully made it.


Oh, SHIT!  I was just swimming in crocodile infested**** waters!

Glancing around furtively, I made sure there were none in the immediate vicinity of my rock.  But still, I was a bit shaken (not stirred).

Daughter Person did a dandy job of maneuvering the raft on her own to come and pick me up.

The rest of the trip went well, with much laughter and even a planned swim (the guides claimed it was safe).

Indiana Jones?  He can have those adventures with dangerous critters.

But I still had a great time.


*Okay, so it’s difficult making recognizable music in a blog without attaching a video or some such.  That was supposed to be the theme from “Indiana Jones”, but…[sigh]

**Thus the lack of photographs.  No water resistant camera in this man’s rucksack.

***So, the last time I went was in university some mumblety-three years ago, but still…

****Yes, I do realize one 4-foot crocodile does not necessarily qualify as a dangerous infestation, but it’s my story and I’ll embellish it any way I want…nyaah!!