FREEDOM ON THE VAAL

Freedom Day - the day South Africans celebrate the coming of democracy in 1994 - dawned cold and clear down on the Vaal River this year. No less than 19 guests braved the chill to come rafting. It soon warmed up and we had a great day out with lots of thrills and spills. Highlight was the "Ship of Fools" - 2-seater Croc raft packed with idiots and paddled by Shadrach: they flipped in Paradise. Though the river is beginning to drop to its winter low we still had 35 cumecs thanks to good rains in the past week. The Vaal can drop to as little as 8 cumecs in winter but we are hopeful that with the dam still full and lots of groundwater it will keep up its level for some months to come. Our season ends in May, we head for the Orange River and Doring in the Cape, and we start again here in August. Come again when the river is at its best, December-February! - Graeme. yeeha@riverman.co.za. 0842452490