Paul Henry – ‘could she possibly come tomorrow?’

One would have thought that Ali, as your mentor and responsible school teacher would have cared more and stayed with you down the river Porky! ?

He obviously just didn’t care !

He did that to me at start of the ’72 Umko too.

I said I will follow you down from Hella Hella start as I had never been near the Umko before that.

He said fine! Just stay close.

My rudder wire pulled out and I had to miss the a start by 5 mins.

I shouted, ‘Ali wait for me ! Ok?

He said ‘ Ja, hurry, just paddle hard, go down the middle of everything and catch up’!

No. 1 was the end of me. Nearly drowned.

Unreliable !


I did what Porky did  too in 1974 with Skaapie Townsend ( the hulk) in the back of a double.

We broke up midmorning somewhere and set off up the hill.

We also found the only 5 pm ‘bus of the day’ after a very long walk out the valley. Our target was  Richmond.

When we got to Richmond Hotel we bummed some money to call his girlfriend in Durban to come and fetch us.

Some guy bought us some beers,  and then some more and some more and an hour or two  later we tried to phone again to tell her not to hurry. Or better still, could she possibly come tomorrow?

She arrived after dark, just as well and we trailed back to Peace Cottage, where we lived, still with our canoe kit on, paddles in hand.

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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