We've glanced back over the blogs here in CTCHQ and noticed that the reality of our situation is hardly coming through. There's some serious stuff that's gone awry and, on reflection, the blogs make this thing spin like a holiday. This is no holiday my friends, there you are sadly mistaken. It is not fun, it is not easy and there are things I want to complain about.
First up, and stretch your eyebrows folks because this one's a shocker, nobody makes us dinner. After a long day of canoeing there's not actually any hot three-course meals for us! Nathan has to make dinner. Nathan has to get food out that has been weighing down our boat and then cook it. Nathan doesn't even get a fucking oven! I'm not lieing to you now, we have to light matches and make flames and stuff and that's what Nathan cooks with. Sometimes, Nathan feels like a caveman. Then there's lunch time. At lunchtime our sandwiches aren't made. We have to do it all ourselves. From scratch. Even I have to chip in. In fact we do everything you have to do to make a sandwich apart from slice the bread. That's the only thing done. Unbelievable.
So that's number one. Next up, and you'll probably want to ring BBC news on this one, its quite muddy. You probably wouldn't think but in this massive river the water goes up and down a bit and the banks aren't at all clean. In fact, I haven't even seen a cleaner or anything once. Instead they are muddy, there's mud all over them, mud all over the banks. Today we got mud on our shoes and Nathan even got some on his hands.
Third little problem, this'll make your head spin, is the darkness. There aren't any lights. So every night, and I'm serious this happens EVERY night without fail, it gets dark. It's bloody annoying because then I can't see stuff. You get to around the same time every evening and it just gets darker and darker and then it's just black. I know what your thinking, I hear you, but I've already looked. I can't find a light switch anywhere.
May god strike me down if I'm lying to you, this fourth one is totally real. Someone keeps putting big dams in the water. I don't mean like a beaver or anything. I'm talking big bloody blockades across the entire river, made of concrete and stuff. So there all the way across and we can't canoe through them. Or over them. With The Lord as my witness, we have to actually get out of our canoe and walk around them. Walking! It's like no one said we were trying to fucking canoe here.
Fifth, and your probably starting to think I'm having a bit of a rant here but this one is the worst. No one speaks English. Well not no one. But most people don't speak English and the signs, Jesus, the signs are all in other languages too. It's not even a new thing, it's been like it since the start. It's stupid, the signs are there to help us, to give us information, but they make them so we can't even read them! They're all, all... What's the word? Foreign.
Ha. Here's another, and this one takes the biscuit. At night, when we go to bed, pretty often it's not comfy. We sleep with the underneath of the tent and a whole roll mat underneath us and still, still, sometimes it's not as nice as my bed at home. In fact, now I think about it, it's never as nice as my bed at home. It's like I'm sleeping on a fucking hedgehog. Nightmare.
I'm almost done now, I don't want to go on because its not meant to be just a blog of me grumbling. But. It rains. Now I knew when I came out here there'd be water. I got dry bags, I got over-clothes but that's because we're on a river right? Yeh, that's what I thought too. No one told me the water comes out of the freakin sky too! That's right kids, it rains and it rains LOADS. Probably at least twice this week I think. Maybe. And when it rains we get wet and not even our sandals manage to help. It still sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.
Talking of shivers, it is freezing. And by freezing I mean well above zero degrees, but it's still really cold. Since France we've only paddled shirtless a few times and this week, since the very start, I've had to wear a long sleeve shirt the entire time. And that's not forgetting what I said about the rain, when it rains I even wear a coat as well. I can already see your jaw is dropping.
Now I could go on, boy oh boy could I go on, about how tired we get and about how much my arms hurt, but I don't want to sound like I'm moaning. Not too much anyway. I just wanted to say that it's not a holiday. There's stuff I never thought about and if someone had told me about these things beforehand maybe I would have wondered. Maybe I'd have looked myself in the mirror and asked myself if I was up to it. Because these things, these things I've spoken about here, are serious. They are crazy. They are unveliavable. But they are true.