While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them. It has created palaces, but it was not so easy to create noblemen and kings.
Henry David Thoreau
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Note: This is an older post I included to test this new blog, enjoy!
The Deepdale Hella Hella Bridge section on the Umkomazi River in South Africa truly is member of what Celliers Kruger, in his book Run the Rivers of Southern Africa, calls the 'Old Classics Club`…and rightly so. The 38-odd kilometre paddle takes you through one of the most beautiful river valleys I have ever seen and the white water is a good class 3-4, depending on water levels. Most of the bigger rapids are awesome boulder gardens with umpteen chutes and boofs and great boat scouting 'boogy-water`.
Thirteen local paddlers (the largest group ever on this section to our knowledge) assembled for a 2 day over night trip in late November. It is doable in one day but then you must be floating by 8am and paddle hard! One of first drops is Deepdale Falls, a multi-line 12m beast with a reputation for hurting paddlers. We had some world class paddlers on this trip and only Luke Longridge had the cojones to giver 'er! He ran a good line but over-rotated and face planted a bit. His peaked helmet was a necklace when he surfaced….
I just got back from a trip underground at the worlds deepest mine face. AngloGold Ashanti’s Tau Tona gold mine in Carletonville, South Africa reaches an incedible 3.7kms into the Earth’c crust and it is quite an experience being down there. Safety is their number one priority and rightly so, evacuation just doesn’t happen fast when you are that tucked away under kilometers of rock and under threat from collapse, fire, toxic gas, machinery and flooding.
The virgin rock temperatures are 55 celcius while the air is artifically cooled to 28.5 deg (the neighbouring mine uses snow blowers!). However, the humidity is stifling and there is little air movement. For those unaccustomed, it is a sweat bath in confined spaces! To see the work in progress is facinating as is seeing the miners and hearing the fanagalo - buka lo number three ka mina phansi…