A not so benign start
This hike was always going to be one of those hikes during which frequent comparisons would be drawn with our previous attempt. That hike had been particularly memorable for a number of reasons but as hiking tends to spring surprises on one, nothing was a given. Nothing precluded this one from also being as dramatic as that one.
What a superb canoe trip! Personally I rate it as the best such excursion for a number of reasons especially for the personal gratification that the Cameron/McCleland team experienced in NEVER capsizing not even once during the five days much to certain attendees’ chagrin. As always, the main reason for such an agreeable trip was undoubtedly the camaraderie amongst all the guys. That factor alone is what indubitably makes Quo Vadis Hiking Club such an exceptional Club.
Notwithstanding that, it was not all beer and braais as we experienced two hard paddling days due to flat water and gusting head-winds but more on that later. At least we have a legitimate claim when we declare that it was not all plain sailing (sic) and that we had to do some exercise!
Amongst other things when one is paddling down the Orange, one has to learn a number of things apart from how to paddle – and rapidly. One also has to assimilate a new language, the unintelligible risible language of the Gariep River People. On previous excursions we had commenced learning the vocabulary. Everyday words such as sun and wind could not be uttered. There were Verboten! Banished from our lips. Instead they were replaced by the avant-garde words “spike” and “spoekasem”.