Sunday, 12 August 2012

Rafting and riding

Almost immediately after my last post Sarah, Helen, Jonny and Stewart left for their bungee jump. It's a really cool setup at adrift, where the bar looks out over the bungee tower, so I could sit with my big telephoto lens and take pictures of them jumping. There was a guy who worked there too who had a really old canon lens on a newish camera, trying to take 'proffessional' shots of them, but the lens was so old it wouldn't autofocus, so they just ended up with loads of blurry shots which he expected them to pay $10 each for! 

While they were getting ready for the bungee I was on the phone to the horseback safari place and managed to get Astra and myself on a trip that afternoon, so we left basically as soon as they got back from the bungee tower. It wasn't too far away, so we took a boda. The woman who worked ATF adrift made out it was a REALLY long way and that it wouldn't be at all satisfactory to get a boda, but we did it anyway and it only took about 20mins. When we got there we were introduced to another person who would be riding with us, who was a French lady of zero riding experience, and the guides who would also be coming. She asked us about our levels of experience, and so I told her that I had a few years experience but it had been a couple of years since I'd last been on a horse. Astra detailed her experience too and thus she decided which horses we would ride. She explained that we would be riding through some farmland and the horses sometimes would decide to stop for a snack on the maize growing or something, and you had to be very insistent with them about not allowing them to do this and kicking them on. She also said that they compensate the farmers for the crops that get eaten, so not to worry if we couldn't stop them! Anyway, she introduced us to our horses, and she gave me the most difficult one as I had the most experience of the three of us! I was a bit unsure about that as its been so long, but it worked out fine. We got going, walking along the Nile and then looping back through the villages and back to the farm. 

We were out for two hours and when you haven't ridden in so long, you get saddle sore pretty quickly! I was quite relived when I saw the jumps in the paddock coming back into view. I was nervous that I wouldn't feel confident enough to ride well or anywhere near the standard that I used to, but actually I got back into it really easily, and Astra and I ended up going for a really long canter, while the poor French woman didn't really seem to be enjoying herself, she tried a trot but couldn't get into a rhythm with rising, so when the time came to try a slow canter she was quite scared but she didn't say, so we ended up going with her screaming 'stop!' at her horse, but not actually pulling on the reins or doing anything that might actually make the horse stop. Anyway, the rest of the time we were trotting or cantering she insisted on just walking. I don't really know why she chose to go for a 2 hour trek without any previous experience! 

Astra got really lucky with her pony who was raring to go, while I got lumbered with the difficult and lazy one. Next time I'll keep quiet about my experience! He really was a lot of hard work to get going, lagging behind in both trot and canter, and stopping to eat all the time! 

After horse riding we caught another boda back to adrift (which felt amazingly comfortable straight after the horse, but after about 5 minutes I was ready to get off!) to find that the others weren't there, so we had to then get another boda into Jinja town, where we had dinner.  

The next morning we were up bright and early for rafting. We went and paid for our trip and I was chatting to one of the guys about how I went last year and how I managed to pull both shoulders out of joint in the rapid called 'the bad place' and he looked a bit surprised and asked if that meant I wanted them to take us on easier rapids and I was like no way! Then about ten minutes later he came over and said that two guys had requested to do the extreme rafting and they needed four other people, so did we want to do it with them? We said yes straight away, it's meant to cost another $25 dollars for the extreme version, but we got to do it for the normal price, which was cool. The rafting was really good and we only flipped the raft 3 times, out of eight rapids that we did. I did hurt my shoulder in the bad place again but Stewart helped me put it back in place. Afterwards we immediately went back to kampala, arriving back at about 8pm, and then going out for dinner and drinks.

This morning we had breakfast in the hostel and Helen and Sarah have just left, which is so sad! 

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