This rather bizarrely named place is as close to paradise as I have been. An island in the middle of a quiet stretch of the Nile, a short paddle from two of the best waves in the world as well as a lifestyle to suit. Fantastic meals three times a day, bathing in the river and a distinct lack of the orange mud which characterises most of Uganda. Round it off with a few Nile Specials and you can't go wrong!
Day 12 - 24th July
Up and away for a morning run on Nile Special, the river was noticeably lower this morning making the wave a little greener and harder to catch. I had some good play this morning but eventually my shoulder started playing up and I had to call it a day. Sadly this is my last day on Hairy Lemon, James and I are taking all the kit back to Kampala tonight and we are being picked up tomorrow to go on Safari. We got to the Red Chilli hideaway in Kampala in good time for a big barbecue dinner. They are going to look after our boating kit while we are away which is a relief. Sadly they didn't have any spare beds though and James and I ended up sleeping in the emergency tent. It was about 5 foot long and two foot wide so we had to spoon with our heads out of the tent, mmm cosy.
added: 24th Jul 2005
Day 11 - 23rd July
Didn't sleep to well last night so left Sam and James to the early shift on Nile Special and hung around the island playing with the other inhabitants. A group out volunteering for softpower were taking a break on the island and we had them in our boats paddling around. Played a bit more volleyball and generally chilled out.
After another awesome lunch we got a truck to take us up to Kalagala. This rapid did not tempt me at all, it didn't look exceptionally difficult but being on the line looked pretty nasty, off it you had better hope you were feeling lucky because I wasn't convinced there was a high chance of surviving.
We ran down from below Kalagala, there were none of the committing rapids of the higher section just play wave after play wave. Quite a variety and really good fun, finishing with an evening session on Nile Special.
added: 23rd Jul 2005
Day 10 - 22nd July
After a fantastic breakfast we set off on the 10 minute paddle which takes you to Nile Special. We spent the morning here having immense amounts of fun. It was really intimidating to start with, really quite violent and you needed a fast boat to get over onto the main wave. Was also the first time I have boated in just a BA, not even a rash vest was needed as you could get out and reapply the sun cream every hour or so.
We headed back to the island for a spot of lunch and a round or two of poker. After arranging for a couple of boda bodas (mopeds) to pick us up we headed downstream to take a look at Malalu. It was about an hours paddle and mostly flat but well worth it. Malalu was a big clean wave with really good eddy access. Didn't have the violence of Nile Special which made it a little easier even if it was more difficult to pull the moves. Had a go in Ian's Big Wheel and got bounced all over the place. Great. Slightly spoilt by a group of Irish lads who came down and demonstrated at great length their skills at front surfing (yawn). It is hard to be pissed off for long in a place like this.
The ride back to Hairy Lemon proved entertaining, we ran out of fuel half way back and I had to get off while the guy took the petrol cap off and tried to blow what was left in the tank into the engine. After a nice bath in the river we joined the rest of the islands visitors in a hog roast. Does it get any better than this?
added: 22nd Jul 2005