dune 45

Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia (09/2014)

Varkala, India (06/15)

Varkala, India (06/15)

What is there to say…  When life takes a sudden and entirely unexpected turn, it as if falling out of a raft in the midst of a Grade 6 rapid.

And I have some idea what it feels like after almost our entire ‘crew’ managed to unceremoniously end up in the Zambezi river whilst navigating a Grade 2 rapid near the Victoria Waterfalls…

Without warning you find yourself under water, not quite understanding how you ended up there, but you can still see the air bubbles and the blue sky above.  Feet still somehow attached to the raft.  There is no panic, body and mind set on self preservation, auto-pilot.

But before you can come up for air, a heavy weight falls on top of you, pushing you further down the murky waters.  Everything turns dark and grey; the sky disappears and sounds are muffled, unreal.  And survival instinct takes over from rational thinking.  Your body knows the way to the air and slowly, with the help from your life vest, you surface, gasping for air.  A little breathing space…

But the rapid has not yet finished and eyes and mouth open to catch your breath, you are greeted by a fresh wave, swallowing what feels like the best part of the Zambezi River…  You do briefly wonder whether the water is clean or whether you will catch some yet undiscovered disease…  But this is a Grade 6 rapid, so the waves keep coming, more violent and threatening, undercurrents turning into sucking whirlpools, towering walls of water capsizing almost every raft, catapulting bodies towards vicious rocks.  A Grade 6 Rapid is too difficult to navigate to be commercially viable, not many people would come out unscathed at the other end. We watched our raft dancing its way along this rapid from the safety of the cliffs and joined it again after it reached the calmer waters.

As with everything there is an end and after the rapid comes the pool where the soothing flow of water coaxes you in the right direction.  No more waves, but gentle, unrelenting ripples as the raft beckons in the distance. And it takes effort to reach this sanctuary, winded from the onslaught of the waves, every stroke a battle of wills. The rope thrown from the raft a welcome lifeline reeling you in and the relief is palpable when you are finally hauled into the safety of the raft.

I think I am no longer battling the brutal rapids, but no white water rafting is complete without an array of bruises all over your body, and a Grade 6 rapid is surely to cause more lasting damage.  Maybe I am finally languishing in the bowels of the more tranquil pool, but I have not yet made it to the raft, not by a long shot, and sometimes I think I never will…

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Alison and Don

    I wonder if we ever make it to the raft.
    Brilliant piece of writing.
    Love your blog. India is an extraordinary place in so many ways. We lived in Tiruvannamalai for 3 months and travelled further north for another 2. Know exactly what you mean about Indian men. You were very kind.
    Thanks for following our blog. I hope you enjoy the stories of our journey, both inner and outer.


  2. lievelee Post author

    Thank you for reading my blog. I came across your blog by accident and am enjoying reading snippets at the moment. I feel very much inspired by your adventures and your choice to live life to full. But then people often tell me that what I am doing is brave; I think it takes a certain amount of courage to leave all the familiar behind and put your trust into the unknown but the rewards are immeasurable.

    Liked by 1 person


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