The day we swam with snakes and jumping fish and hiked the fish river canyon / by Mariam Harraz

My body clock has woken me up at 5am, I am getting used to it already but decide to sleep a bit longer while I can. By the time I get up at 6:30am Jasmine has already gone swimming in the river, showered, changed and writing her diary. 

We're not having breakfast today, just brunch right before we head off to our next campsite and to see the Fish river canyon, so Jo, Anders, Wouter, Ulli and I decide to go swimming in the river and cross to South Africa again (they didn't do it yesterday, I mostly just wanted a swim.) I have the most embarrassing go pro video of that swim which I do not want to share haha! But the moment we were about to go in we saw a massive snake in the water and for some reason we continued to challenge ourselves to cross over. I hate things touching me so I instantly panicked but carried on. Now let me describe Anders to you, he's this quiet big guy who's been travelling a few months with his girlfriend he seems annoying in the beginning but actually has a kind heart who enjoys meeting new people and going crazy, he looks very different to how he's like. Everything he says just makes me laugh, he speaks english well but his accent is funny and the way he describes things to you is hilarious, he’s basically a child inside a big body.

This is the first time I actually speak to him when we are swimming and I am not that good of a swimmer, I panic because the current is strong and you need to be strong enough to push away from that current and reach the other side. A minute or two later all of us are laughing and slightly worried about all the things that are touching our feet we decide to continue. They’re all pretty great swimmers and quiet fast, Anders realises I'm slowly panicking in the back not being to catch my breathe so he stops and decides to pull me when i couldn't touch the ground. I finally run out of breathe and say 'guys I'm going back I did this yesterday' and Anders almost turns back with me but is convinced by the others to carry on. I swim and turn back by myself only to be attacked by jumping fish and weird things I can't see touch my feet, I’ve never swam faster out a river then I did that time.

After having a swim, I spent some time writing my diary and before we knew it it was time to pack up, have brunch and head back on the road again. Today we’re heading to Hobus a campsite by the Fish river canyon, we had our last bit of tarmac road before hitting dirt road for a few weeks. You can imagine how bumpy the ride was, on our way into the campsite Colleen tells us that some old people took the area she likes to camp in so Jake says jokingly ‘It’s ok they're old we can take them down’ but we’re all secretly holding a grudge against them. We put our camps up and have a bit of a break before we head for our first hike! It was incredible, Lulu was driving what felt like it was quiet fast towards the edge of the Canyon and all our faces went pale thinking we were driving off and at the last minute she made a quick turn and stopped. We first make two stops at the Fish river canyon to take some photo’s and we take our first group one. 

We are dropped off at a point and we’re shown were to meet Colleen and Lulu and told to get there before sunset, some of us are really worried about time so start making their way, whereas a few of us take our time to hike it and of course I was one of those people wanting to take my time and take good photo’s.

It’s boiling hot, and at times i feel like I'm about to faint, it takes us over an hour to get there and when we do we are greeted with cheese and wine (juice for me) for sunset, Colleen and Lulu set it up at the finishing point which also has an amazing view of the canyon and a really nice long table where we have all the cheese we can right before the sun sets. It was so beautiful and we were all in such high spirits. We got evils from everyone who reached that point and was greeted by the tour guide with no food or drinks haha.

Of course Anders took up a challenge of being the first group that Colleen and Lulu had to finish 10 litres of wine before sunset, so he constantly went around topping up everyones drinks and before we knew it everyone was slightly tipsy before sunset. It was so serene and peaceful watching the sun set in such a magnificent place.

On our way back to our campsite Denis and Denis decided to run back to the campsite, they want to try and stay fit while on holiday and so we cheer them on when we drop them off about 10 or 20km from the camp.

The ride back was hilarious, I think it was at that point that I realised how well we all get on and even though everyone had a few glasses of wine we were genuinely happy to be together. We kept making videos of us cheering for absolutely no reason until we got back into the campsite we realised the old people were all sitting together and not talking so someone suggested we should cheer so much and act like we’re having the most amazing time to annoy them, mean I know but it was still hilarious. 

Dinner was nice and then we went off to bed,  we were warned about all the baboons at the campsite and to be careful if we were to go to the loo at night. 


#TIA - This is Africa