Back in Sydney and less than a day gone by, I’m on the road again. I love holidays. This time, it was going to be a massive group going canoing in the Kangaroo Valley. “2 hours” from Sydney. We were led by a guy whom my friends gave the name Leon Lai, on account of him vaguely resembling the singer. He was slung low on his motorbike and rode like he was the business, with only our car managing to keep up with him. The rest of the convoy was pretty much lost.

So anyway, Kangaroo Valley. Sounds wonderful dunnit? I didn’t see a single roo but that wasn’t what we were there for. We were there to canoe. Which we did, although we turned up about an hour later than expected. Renting a canoe costs about 30 bucks a person, including a mouldy lifevest, a choice of single, double or triple canoes and the pickup bus sending you back whence you came.

I think back about the canoeing club 10 years ago, in junior college, as I slug my canoe down to the riverside. It was pretty much filled with dimwits who were perpetually tanned and muscled and mostly dull personalities. You joined it cos you wanted to get buff and browned like toast. Me, I’d rather eat toast than be toast. Still, I had to cast aside all prejudices about 5 minutes in when I crashed into a tree and was forced to step out of the boat, into the freezing cold river. I was pretty much the only loser who “capsized” although I maintain that I did not, technically anyway. Ok fine, I capsized.

I had to overturn the damn thing and pour out the water before I headed back in. And at this point, the haughtiness of before had disappeared into a tiny joy, one abetted by the tiny rapids we sometimes went over. We’d actually picked the easy route, on account that most of the group had never set foot into any sort of river flotation device. I’d imagine, as Leon himself commented, that it’d be a much more exciting venture if it was really whitewater rafting. Controlling the boat is easy enough, until you start hitting rocks and shit. That’s when the river flows just a bit faster than you can react and the current throws you along.

The other nice thing about paddling along a river is the calm bits, which were, as one friend put it, tranquil. A serenity forged by the surroundings, which were quite pretty really. Trees glinting in the sun, birds chirping like vultures and pretty girls by my side laughing at my stupidity from before.

I also enjoyed the ride back though, seeing as I had the chance to drive my friend’s BMW down a mountain and back to Sydney as he and the girls helped to keep me alert with their hypnotic snoring.

I’m not too sure if its worth it to drive 4 or 5 hours there and back given how much petrol costs. It is a little far but it is a nice little place to go canoing and check out wildlife and nature and shit.