I was late to the arrivals hall, and a few dollors poorer thanks to the military check point outside the airport. A few taxi driver stood around trying to scrounge business from the last tired foreigners arriving through the drab glass doors. I looked around worried for anysign of my new best friends. Its never easy going into the unknown and its not ideal with a team you have never met. They are going to have to trust me as I will have to them, losing them at the airport would not be an ideal start
Eventually one by one they emerged from the harsh neon lights into the garden outside where I had been waiting. Strong handshakes and straight looks, as we weighed each other up as fast as possible.
The ride back was filled with small talk and petti details that told me nothing. It was only when I saw them sitting in their kayaks that I relax. If nothing esle these guys can kayak. I could tell that even before we got to the rapids.
The first week is done and its been a good one. Showing people who share my passion around the backyard is a joy. Learning from them as they look at it with new eyes, a pleasure. As can be expected when getting stuck into the big stuff, it has not all been plain sailing. Jesse took a swim from a monster hole on the first day. He came out ok, but its not what you want at the start of a mission in a strange continent. In this game like most others its all about confidance. He, like all of us, know that things will only get harder.
Tomorow we start the infamous Karuma to Murchison falls section and all indications are that it will be the highest level in years. Yes please.