Paddling the Flood
Every year, as far back as history recounts, the annual Nile flood has provided moisture and sustenance to the soil of the lowland plain. The Ancients came to rely on the great Nile flood to irrigate and fertilize their crops and entire livelihoods depended upon the predictable rise and fall of the river.
In those unfortunate years when the Nile failed to rise, drought and famine would surely follow. In years when too much water flowed, entire villages were snatched from the banks of the river and the flood waters swept deep into the desert, clawing at the foot of enormous jebels.
In 2004, Les Jickling and Mark Tanner set out to paddle the great Nile flood from its source in the highlands of Ethiopia to where the river empties into the Mediterranean Sea, 12kms north of Rosetta. With no paddling experience, dangerously little knowledge of the river and blissfully ignorant of the countless hazards they would face, it was only through luck, determination and a warped sense of adventure that they were ultimately successful.
This is their story.