The first river we ran on the holiday, a grade 3/4 with three large waterfalls. Has been kayaked and rafted quite a bit before but was a good warm up river, lots of fun and impressive scenery too.
We spent the night last night in Ampifey at the get in for the Lily. We had a quality breakfast on the veranda by a little lake and made our plans for the next few days. We dropped back in to see Gilles and decided that we should go East towards Tamatave. A couple of us headed off to get food for the next few days and to pick up the final member of our team at the airport. We managed to get a dinner of extremely rare Zebu, which is saying something from me and headed off to Andasibe.
added: 6th Aug 2007
Second Day on the Lily
Waking up by the side of a Malagasy river in the middle of nowhere is a great start to a day. The enjoyment was brief however. We packed up camp and got on in good time just under the second waterfall. Unfortunately about 200m downstream, without warning or any really noticeable rapid one of our number developed a rather critical leak in their brand new boat. A split right down the hull of the boat made it pretty much unusable.
After an hour or so of repair work we hadn't got the boat fixed and we knew we had a long day ahead. We decided to split into two groups with the second playing catch up as soon as they could. There were some nice 3/4 rapids to start with which tailed off after the third waterfall on this river. I would like to call all the waterfalls on this river unrunnable however the Young Guns have proved me wrong on at least one of them.
We passed the last waterfall around lunch time, the only point of interest I remember after that is trying to avoid the Zebu wading in the river, we were starting to worry as the light was fading but we made it to the get out just as it started to get dark.
added: 5th Aug 2007
First Day on the river
Early start to our first river, we had to get out to Giles' place to get some planning done for the rest of the trip, not that we stuck to any of the plans we made at this stage. It was a long drive to the river and well into the day by the time we got there. For some reason one boat had gone ahead and I ended up trying to find this boat which had been hidden away in the local village. We then had a fun game of trying to sort out all the kit we needed for an overnight trip in front of a large audience. The first rapid, an unpleasant technical drop was considered not worth it by most of us, however one of the team styled it and was followed by Edmund, a local we took with us, he was not so lucky though and got himself pinned vertically and upstream. Fortunately he was a big lad and levered himself out. A variety of minor rapids and one nice grade 4 brought us to the first portage. The chutes de Lily, a set of 28m waterfalls made a good spot for lunch. From the Chutes de Lily down there was a nice gorge section with plenty of grade 4 with a little grade 5, quite a bit of inspection was needed on this section so it was nearly dark when we got out above another set of waterfalls. The food wasn't so good on the river, rice and spam, yum.
added: 4th Aug 2007