Saturday, 27 April 2019

River is up - let's paddle

Back in February, I paddled a section of the Vaal with my friend Karen. It is a mostly flatwater, 25km section with a number of lovely ungraded rapids aka 'ripples' along the way. The river has been low but after the good rains in Gauteng the past two weeks, the river was up - time to paddle.

What a superb Friday afternoon we had! We got on to the water just before 3pm and got off 3.5 hours later just as darkness descended. The current doesn't exactly push your down the river - the volume is not enough for that - but high water does mean that the rocks in the ripples are covered by water. We did not scrape or get stuck on rocks, which we did last time.

This is very much the type of paddling that I enjoy; long distance, lots of variety with many channels, sweet and friendly ripple-rapids, lovely scenery, many bends in the river, and a few hours out on the water in the company of my friend.

The water is already on its way down. We have our fingers crossed that we'll see these decent levels for another few days. Wednesday is a public holiday and a bunch of paddlers are planning on hitting the river in the morning.

Karen. Taking photos of each other. The reflections were so perfect.
Me. Paddling.

Not quite a rapid - these ripples are such fun.

Oh yes! Blissful fun.
That's a very teeny island with a big tree on it.
Karen coming through a long section of ripples.
The last two kilometres to the finish. The sun is gone. The wind is gone. Very peaceful.

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