Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Kali Gandiki paddle trip!

3 days, 2 nights on the river. It's great to get out again with the Nepalese river guides. They really know their stuff, how to look after us soft Westerners, to cook great food, and how to have a good time. I just love being on the river with them.

The Kali Gandiki is one of the holiest rivers in Nepal and so that means lots of burning of Hindu bodies and cremations take place on it's river banks. This was the talk of the trip and some of my friends weren't so keen on rolling, but it's a big river so it didn't worry me.

The trip started in the way which any good Nepalese trip should start. A broken bus not far from town. Of course only after 1 hour of trying to fix the bus, was it declared broken and a new bus rung for. Then off course everything had to go from one bus to another so a fair amount of time was lost.

After a big lunch we were on the river. There were a couple of big rapids on day one, little brother and big brother, so we were straight into it. And with starting late we were all in a bit of a rush. So the scouting was rudimentry, and big brother was lots of fun only vaguely knowing the line! But I bounced down it without finding the holes anyway!

That night it was dusk as we climbing up to our campsite. It was time to peel a lot of potatoes for dinner and fix my jandal. I am very sad because one my beloved red jandles with the springy soles has broken. That night I discovered the delights of super glue. Hence the new saying "if it can't be ducted or super glued it's fucked!". Needless to say the excitment over the fix was disapated the next morning when the super glue became unstuck!

On the river we were sleeping under the fly and the clear nights meant great stars, although I keep looking for the southern cross and can't find it. The nights were cold with my thin sleeping bag but nevertheless it was lovely to be on the river again.

The next day was fantastic. Pretty much continuous drop pool, class 2 and 3 rapids all day. Kept me entertained, but not too stressful. Some big waves to surf and some big holes to miss. All boat scouted so it was good practise and kept me on my toes! I am getting better at reading the rapids with all this practise. That night we had the compulsary sing-a-long!

Today was a hour or two of good paddling before a long bus trip home. It's festival time in Nepal, and as far as I can tell that means it is a time for all children to become Moaists. The trip back from the river took longer than usual as we had to stop over twenties times for children to do a little dance and then be paid. We renamed this festival "festival of the little maoist!".

Now it's time to party in Pokara. The place is full of candles and is very beautiful. So until next time...

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