ACK serves customers all over the world – that’s why we weren’t overly surprised when we heard from Peter Plaskett of Australia. Peter recently took a trip to Uganda which included a relaxing day of paddling, that took an interesting turn. He shared his experience in this blog. Enjoy!
Well there I was, Lake Bunyoni, Uganda’s Deepest lake @ 650 feet, a bit of an about face (sort of) as the day before we’d trekked over 15 kilometres through dense rain forest in her highest mountain ranges in search of Mountain Gorillas. We’d left Australia 8 days earlier for an adventure holiday which was to include rafting the White Nile, all rapids being grade five, followed by the trek. So today was a rest day, and we decided to take a native dugout for a paddle – what could be easier or more peaceful? The four of us paid our money and hopped in.
Now imagine the most badly loaded, unstable, keel-less canoe and you have a minor approximation of what we put out from shore in. With no life jackets and paddles carved from a plank, the thought of the depth of the lake kept recurring. The craft, I use the word loosely, was gouged from a single log about 15ft long, the axe and adze (a tool used for smoothing or carving rough-cut wood in hand woodworking) marks still clearly visible, the seats were like 2 legged stools. My partner and I have paddled together before, so once we got our balance we were ok. The two girls in the other craft had never canoed before. We tried to give them some pointers though eventually left them to their own devices. Still, we kept a watchful eye on their ever increasing circles.
Then the screaming started. The reason being the “DELUXE FRONT SEAT” of their boat; the wildlife living in it apparently didn’t like being sat on, so it had decided to vacate its home and started crawling about the girls legs. After much panic and comments from onlookers, they got to shore. One elderly female spectator suggested that we not go to Australia if we were scared of spiders. We “politely” told her we were Aussies, then showed her a spider, certainly bigger than anything I’ve seen even in the outback, and she very quickly made herself scarce. Trying to make the guy in charge aware of what had/was happening was even funnier as he couldn’t see the problem. I’m now back home, sitting on my boat as I type this, planning the next trip. Thinking I might have to try one of those reed boats on Lake Titicaca.