Marsyangdi -- my fav so far... this post is a little out-dated, but it's definitely one of the finest quality rivers in the world. Big volume, steep gradient, fun around every corner, a few 'oh shit' moments, haha... pretty much everything you want out of a run. Regrettably, the Marsyangdi is condemned to be dammed, fully under water in a few months. All so sad, but there's a rad project/film called The Last Descent with some more info if you're interested. Nepal's finest. R.I.P.
Anyway, about that trip report! Hahaha pretty much everything that could've gone wrong did go wrong, and it still turned out fab. It's about a day's traveling from Pokhara to the Marshyangdi valley. We had a major hassle getting the kayaks on buses for reasonable fare... one bus even pulled over and refused to move until we paid more than the agreed price. SNAFU #1... Then on the way up to the put-in a bunch of kids stole all our carabiners and chocolate from our bags, that was a Baby SNAFU compared to what morning would bring... when morning rolled around the guards at the trekking station demanded a $25 fee (mucho dinero in rupees) to enter the park. After about 2 hours of arguing and a failed attempt to sneak on, they sent us packing down the valley, kayaks on back. So naturally we walked until they couldn't see us and started our great adventure from there.
MARSHYANGDI --- WHAT A BEAUT! As I alluded to earlier, the river is AMAZING. It's so much fun to rally with a group of international kayak huck-stars and watch each other do massive back-enders (back loops?) when they un-intentionally hit the belly of the beast. Hahahah such good fun. Internet is way to slow to upload pics, so do your best to visualize por favor... will add some eye candy later.
Yours truly keepin' the bow up on the rapid 'Kiwi Cupcake', bow chicka ow ow. This was one of the first rapids to be swallowed by the reservoir.
We had an awesome party night in an itty bitty highway town before finishing the rest of the run on Day 2. Day 2 is a bit mellower but still packs a good punch and is totally worth staying for. Plus we saw some tiger tracks---first sighting!
This river is truly a gem, one of the best for whitewater kayaking. It's a shame to see it go but I feel pretty lucky to have had such an awesome experience to seal it into my brain-chambers as one of the world's finest rivers.
Sonja Jankowfsky, our favorite German chick, stares down the gun barrell on one of the rapids that starts off Day 2. Photo: MonicaG
Speaking of "world's greatest rivers"... it's only recently that I've come into the knowledge that the White Nile (Uganda) is staring down it's own d-day (end of 2009 at the latest)... so in the name of fiscal irresponsibility, I swiped the 'ol credit card for round trip airfare from Delhi to Kampala for most of December. And you know what the best part is? Hahah, I suckered Andy into coming too! Party in Uganda! Jeeez... wish it was under better circumstances though, all the world's best rivers under fire... gotta hit them all!
We ran the Marshyandgi awhile ago now... have been in western Nepal for 10 days on the Karnali (pictures pending, I promise) and are now coming off some down-time before the Peak UK Himalayan Whitewater Challenge starting tomorrow. Ukukuuuuk extreme slalom on 'Delhi-belly' is going to be an interesting one for me. Antibiotics are my new best friend here, haha. After the race we're rolling out to Delhi to catch our flights to Uganda, pending safe transit via Bombay. Alright enough words, no fun without the pics! Thanks for reading and wishing you all a great Thanksgiving dinner that passes through your digestive system without pain or misery.