Life on the Nile

So one month ago i returned from living in Uganda for 10 months, and what an amazing time I had. Why did I go? What did I do? How did it change me? read on…

So why? Well after all the mess of my poor choices in sponsorship last year and screwing up the Europeans I lost my focus in Kayaking and was unsure what exactly I wanted to do so I decided i needed to go somewhere I love, have many friends and somewhere there is great Kayaking. So Uganda seemed like a great choice as a place to have a break, settle my thoughts and get myself together and work out what direction I wanted to go.

So I quit all my sponsors except my buddy Zach’s RunandJump clothing and Uk based kit company Peak Uk one of my oldest and best sponsors, ordered a 7kg Carbon GuiGui Prod then One week after the World Cups last year I headed out to the Nile in Uganda to start work as a Video Kayaker working for Davey O’Hare at NRE.

A usual day working would involve hopping on the truck to Jinja at 8am  and talking to the rafters about the video before grabbing coffee & some boiled eggs then we’d get on the river about 10:30 and the day would begin by filming an intro on the warm up rapids before sprinting the Silverback section to get in front at the first few rapids to film them coming down, then we’d slow down and be having lunch on the big flat pool after Silverback. After lunch there are some more rapids and some more FLAT before the last grade 5 rapid Itanda which usually me & Anton (Swedish video kayaker) would run down to wake up before hopping out at the bottom to film the last hole the rafts go through. Then it would be onto the truck back to Camp for BBQ at 5ish before making the edit which usually took me 1.5 – 2 hours depending on the size of the trip. At 9 we’d show it in the bar and then burn however many DVD’s we’d sold before finally finishing up at 10ish ready to unwind in the bar with the guides, kayakers, rafters and other freaks that frequent NRE before heading to bed at some point to get some sleep before it all begins again…

Pretty hectic and full on days but fun none the less. On my time off i would usually be riding around falling off my Motorcross bike I bought out there, or paddling at Nile Special in my new GuiGui Prod Carbon kayak both of which were two of the most fun things to do 🙂 Or if I was too beat from work, partying or paddling I would be swimming around the pool at Nile Resort, Reading or Watching TV down in the office and enjoying Banana Smoothies at De Nile Cafe.

When I arrived in Uganda I wasn’t that motivated for Kayaking and was just making videos and partying in the evening which is great fun out there for a while, but over my time there I had a lot of time to think about what i really wanted and getting to see kayakers like Peter Csonka come out and see the rewards with his paddling he was getting from training seriously the more I wanted to be like that. So now I am not so interested in partying and am back in the UK, more motivated than ever and training hard.

So In short I had such a great time made many new friends & Katya 😉 and would like to thank Davey, Anton, Jared, Jesse, all the local boys and the rest of the NRE posse for making my time so good. Now i’m back in the Uk and its time to head out to Europe to compete at the Eurocup in Plattling so its time to get in my poor little car and see if it can survive another summers adventures.


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About James Bebbington

2011 ICF World Freestyle Kayak Champion & 2011 ICF World Cup Freestyle Kayak Champion Passionate about Kayaking, Travel, Nature, Dreams, Raw Food & the Beauty of Life. Don't give up on your dreams, listen to your heart!
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