Well, I've decided that I'm going to start maintaining this blog . . . but first I want to start with the year in review because I feel like a ton has happened since October 2005 when I quit my job in the bay area. So here goes the first installment:
As some of you know, I headed over to Nepal for last Nov/Dec. I went with the hope that it would "work out" to have some days on the river, as I'd love to one day actually be a kayaker.
So, after some sightseeing . . .
. . . I ended up in Pokhara (lakeside town at the base of the Annapurnas), ready to see what I could find.
Things worked out better than I could have hoped, as I met a great group of kayakers through the Ganesh Kayak Shop in Pokhara. This shop is owned by a French guy named Charlie who came to Pokhara and never left . . . not shockingly as it's one of the most amazing places I've been. Anyhow, Charlie was all about knowing who the kayakers in town were, what levels they were at, and what trips were in the works. I started out by joining a 3 day rafting/boating trip down the Kali Gandaki . . . super cool experience with 6 rafters, 9 international boaters, and 3 Nepali safety kayakers. After seeing much of the area from a trail, it was super cool to see it from the river, and look back upriver with a Himalayan giant in the background.
I ended up continuing to boat with Danny and Carla that I met on the Kali . . . spending 8 of 11 days exploring 5 rivers from west of Pokhara to east of Kathmandu. Super cool experience, especially since I learned a ton about boating, practiced my uncanny ability to find the biggest holes in the river and paddle straight into them (the subject of much laughter, I might add), and finally achieved >50% on my rolls! I think the latter was the best because swimming rapids is really no way to run a river :wink: .
Anyhow, I'll let the pics do the talking . . .
A side creek entering the Kali Gandaki . . . how do you like my gaper steezeThe group, just before confluence with the Kali . . . notice the Nepali "fan club" on the bridge. It was pretty crazy because Nepalis lined the shores and bridges where we were (especially when it was just Carla and I) - it was odd to feel like a constant exhibition, but that's to be expected in a country where people can't even swim . .
Crusing down the Kali . .
Carla is a super graceful boater . . Desperate times call for desperate measures . . . this dude came through with the truck with a Saturday (holy day) transport to the Equator Expeditions camp and Bilefi River.But it was a cold ride for Danny and KG for the early am drive from Kathmandu . . The Bilefi was my favorite river we paddled - medium volume and super scenic with huge boulders all the way down . . .
Yet another gathering to watch our show . .
At the confluence with the Sun Kosi - 5 boaters, 5 home countries (USA, UK, Switzerland, Japan, Nepal), and 4 native languages . . . such a cool experience!
Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better trip and am so thankful it worked out! Can't wait to get back on the river this spring :D