Orange River Expedition

I walk a lot, dance a bit and do a smidge of yoga.  Paddling 60+ kilometers down a river on a SUP felt like mission impossible, and camping - that's something other people do! This whole adventure was very much out of my comfort zone.  But my heart and soul were fractured and exhausted, and the lure of freedom from the hamster wheel of my life was too intoxicating to turn down.  With Candace reassuring me she would make a 'wild bird' out of me, we turned up the tunes and headed to the Orange.  

The trip was well organised and I felt safe in the experience of both Candace and our guide.  Our guide lead us in a boat packed to the hilt with all the necessities; which included a single change of warm clothes, cool clothes and a sleeping bag.  We had input into the simple but very tasty menu; and very quickly we were all packed up and ready to paddle. Both Candace and our guide were fun and supportive and it was with a light heart that I clambered (knees first) onto my sturdy SUP, and headed down the river. The stillness and beauty of the surroundings (and lack of any mobile connectivity) are balm to the busy mind. I thought I might get bored doing the same thing over and over again; until I realized we'd been paddling for hours; and I hadn't thought about anything. A pure moment of just being in my body.

It was a trip of magnificent firsts:
I DID paddle all of those KM's on a SUP; and through rapids too; sometimes on my knees, belly or even backwards; but I did it!
I slept under the stars on a slab of rock in the brightness of the moon.  It was so much more comfortable than I thought, and I even got hot coffee served to me in "bed" first thing in the morning.
I quieted my mind to delicious stillness with morning yoga and meditation.  I even managed a very short, and slightly wonky, full wheel.
I danced madly in the desert sun with brightly colored fans that we turned into an exquisite photo shoot,
I drank beer for breakfast.
I lost myself in combing the banks for the perfect semi precious stone to bring home.

And the list goes on and on.  It was the adventure of a lifetime.  A privilege in this mad and rushed world most of us call home.  Candace created this wonderful, safe and trusted space for me to learn to slow down, smell the river lilies and explore my own limitations.  I came off the river so much stronger; and wilder; and happier.  I did fly!'

Kim Lyon

I have so many more to add here, on their way....