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Dara’s Zambezi diary: day two

January 29, 2013

Dara O’Briain struggles to maintain an elegant bearing in the fierce waters of the Zambezi, on the first full day of his Comic Relief challenge.

Anyone glancing at a certain stretch of the mighty Zambezi river yesterday would have been confronted by quite a sight.

Despite the obvious lunacy of attempting to raft more than 60 miles, I had always consoled myself with the fact that at least it involved a lot of sitting down, something I consider myself more than proficient at.

Not a bit of it. The first day of this Comic Relief challenge saw our motley crew taking it in turns to stand at the front of traditional Zambian boats fashioned out of tree trunks called Makoros and paddle using an elongated oar.

Despite the discomfort of essentially balancing on a log for hours on end, I quickly grew fond of this warrior stance, maybe a distant echo of my proud O’Briain ancestors who, as you all know, single handedly drove the Vikings out of Ireland in 1014.

My elegant bearing as we cut through the waters drew many an admiring comment from my fellow rafters, although unsurprisingly Jack Dee wasn’t all that impressed. He said I looked like an Irish priest arriving on missionary work.

At one point we tried our hand at the steering duties performed at the rear of the boat by a local expert. A series of unplanned 360 turns and we were very quickly dispatched back to providing the brute force at the front. Despite the aches and the pains though it was, all in all, a great first day – the trouble is there’s four more of them still to come and today white water enters our world.

I’ll do well to look noble in that.

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Source – daily telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/activityandadventure/9834614/Dara-OBriains-Zambezi-diary-day-two.html

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