By Caiden Lang
There are few greater feelings than the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing what you started. Paddling into Senga bay was one of the best moments of my life. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself…
Spending a week with the families was incredible. I think we each put on a couple of much needed kilograms during that time. It was wonderful for us to share the adventure with the people who have supported us the most. In the back of our minds though, we knew that we still had 120km to paddle to the finish line.
We left Cape Mclear at 6 in the morning and paddled 49km into what was mainly a headwind. It had been a long standing joke amongst us that the wind actually changes direction to blow into our faces. This day however was no joke and confirmed to us that we actually can change the direction of the wind just by steering our boats as the wind makes absolutely sure that we know it’s there by blowing right into us.
Ok not really although it is irritating how often that actually happened on this trip. The next day we paddled to the Malerie Islands and spent the night there. That evening, the four of us sat on the rocks and watched the sunset knowing that it would be our last night together on the lake. It finally dawned on me that our adventure was coming to an end and although I was excited, the feeling was dulled by the knowledge that I had to get back to “normal life”. I put that in inverted commas because for us normal life had become waking up, paddling, having lunch, paddling, having dinner and then bed. It sounds mundane but understand that this all happened within the backdrop of sunsets, sunrises, mountains and valleys. So sitting there on that rock watching our last sunset will be a moment I will never forget.
Our last day of paddling was relatively easy and by late morning the finish line was in sight. We stopped paddling a couple kilometres off shore to prolong the experience. When we reached the shore our families were there to greet us and congratulate us. Our remaining flare was shot, the champagne was popped and the celebrations began.
There are so many people who made this trip possible and who helped us along the way. To all of you I would like to express my thanks. To those who sponsored us and made the trip a possibility, you have helped create memories and to those kind hearted people who were there along the way, many of which happened to be there when the going got tough, we thank you for being the shove on the back that we needed to get unstuck.
Squeak, Guy and Tup you guys were amazing. We made an excellent team. Before the trip we said that the only way to eat an elephant was one bite at a time and that’s exactly what we did. We faced up to the problems as they presented themselves and revelled in the good times all the while making each other laugh. Thanks for getting me safely around the lake and I look forward to many years of reliving stories over a ‘traditional cup of Game’.
Finally I would like to say that although this trip has been a personal accomplishment for each of us, the reason behind it all has never left our thoughts- this being the Hope for the Future foundation and the All Angels School. Our hope is that our efforts will be rewarded and that we raise the money that we are hoping to. We were fortunate enough to spend time at both of our charities and the need of these children is a real one and one that we are lucky enough to be in a position to provide for. Donations can be made at www.malawiexpedition.weebly.com.
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*Stay tuned for a feature on the expedition in an upcoming issue of Safari interactive magazine*
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