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We were now only 7km’s into our 55km three-day Ord River Canoe adventure. Already the excitement and enthusiasm that had us looking forward to this adventure for so long was now fading. Instead, feelings of anxiety were growing.
The problem was, we hadn’t even left yet, let alone set foot in the water.
Maka from Go Wild Adventures, was briefing us on our trip. There were challenges he explained as he pointed to our maps. The river narrows and therefore rapidly increases the speed of the water. It was important he said, each time to position our boat at the correct part of the river. “It’s been a while since we’ve had a capsize”, he warned with his characteristic laugh. We certainly weren’t out to break his track record but that didn’t help our fears of not just surviving, but losing all our provisions of clothes, bedding and food.
As the briefing continued, it was the next question that saw our group suddenly reduce from eight to seven… “are there crocodiles in the river”, asked one of the group. ” At least 7,000″ Maka replied. The door slammed shut as young granddaughter Chels decided the security of the car to return her to camp was much safer than what she otherwise was about to face.
With no convincing close to changing her mind, we packed our double canoes. First a large esky each full of food we had prepared the day before, a water tight barrel for bedding and clothes and a smaller accessible barrel, then bundled on top, two camp mattresses plus a tent. We were shown how to lash our gear to the canoe. This Maka explained, would prevent us from losing all our gear in case of a capsize.
Next it was the issuing of mandatory life jackets. That at least reduced our survival fears.
Our next concerns to address were how we would cope with the challenges that lay ahead in just the first two hours of our three-day adventure.
We nervously farewelled Maka, trying to look like we were in full control as we also waved goodbye to an apprehensive daughter and wife, along with her now relieved child waving goodbye through the security of the window.
The current was proving an absolute gift as we effortlessly made our way down stream. A mild tail breeze further added to what was now setting up to be an easy start to our adventure.
Surrounded by deep red cliffs, our concerns and apprehensiveness were quickly replaced with enjoying the magnificence of nature at its majestic best as we casually meandered down the river.
Our first challenge was soon ahead off us. As the river started to narrow, the speed of the water was rapidly increasing. Sticking to our planned strategy, the current took us hastily and safely through. Then the next challenge, and the one after. We did it.
It was a long day, but with an hour to sunset and after some well deserved cold refreshments, the camp was set up, followed by dinner and a few yarns around the campfire.
The Ord River Canoe adventure could only be described as one of nature’s best experiences. The sheer majesty of meandering downstream surrounded by the grandeur of rich red cliffs, the birdlife, the serenity, enjoying the company of close friends and family around a campfire and waking up from a star lit night to start it all over again… you just can’t beat it.
As a regular canoer told us, you spend a long time waiting in a nursing home. Now’s the time to do it. If you enjoy sleeping amongst the stars, boiling your billy on the fire and getting out amongst nature, this adventure is waiting for you. Oh, and don’t worry if you’re not an experienced canoer, for most of us it was a first time. Too old I hear you say… an 80 year old grandfather just finished the trip with his grandson. Too young… 4 year olds have done the trip and loved it. As for my granddaughter… she actually would have loved it. Next time.
As for the rest of the trip, what happens on tour, stays on tour!
Let’s know if you’d like to find out more. The web site is being updated with more details.