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Ladakh – July and August 2015

 

Upper Indus Rafting Expedition

Day1

We left Leh around evening time to karu. Reached at night for dinner and stayed in a guest house at Karu. Everyone was waiting in anticipation for the next day. It was going to be the first river trip for my homies Subbu, Priyanka and Amith. We cooked and ate some dinner, pitched our tents and slept.

Next day , we drove about 10-15km above Upshi to our starting point below a massive class 4 rapid. I was pretty anxious to Kayak since it was a new section for me. Pumped the rafts, loaded the cataraft and we were set to go! All the tension disappeared as I got comfortable with the river catching eddies, surfing holes and totally enjoying the it. The first time rafters had a blast as well.

Ended the day at this beautiful green camp site. Cooked food, partied n passed out!

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Day2

Subbu was expecting today to be more like a boat ride since the rapids he had seen from the road didn’t look that big. This always happens! When you look from the road, you tend to underestimate the power of the river. Subbu ended up falling in the water about 4 times and ended up drinking quite a bit of water. We obviously laughed a lot about it! He regretted underestimating nature and promised to never doing it again. Everyone was freezing by the end of the trip since there was no sun light. Our clothes were in the car and it hadn’t reached yet. This is the time when most of us begin to appreciate the value of a car, roof and a hot cup of chai.

A trip to Pangong

It’s always nice to go on a relaxing trip as well after an adventure. So we headed to pangong. Pictures speak louder than words so here you go.

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Daily Rafting Trips -Phey to Nimoo

I was assigned this year by Splash Ladakh to be the safety kayaker for trips in the river Indus. This gave me an opportunity to be in the river every single day. I would surf holes and practice kayaking every single day. And when you go as a guide you really need to perform well and rescue clients. This would push me to do well and improve my kayaking. I definitely became a very good kayaker after all these trips. Thank you Splash Ladakh. It’s a also a wonderful feeling to rescue people from dangers in the river. The clients are usually ecstatic after the river trip and end up thanking us with all their heart for getting them safe. And that is a wonderful feeling. It pushes me more towards taking up safety kayaking as a profession.

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Cycling and sightseeing

These women were absolutely epic. We had some interesting conversations and became good friends in a very short time. The mother of 2 really inspired me with her energy at her age. She was cycling right behind me the whole time and even on the uphills. And trust me cycling in Ladakh is not at all easy. The heat is extreme and there is less oxygen. Here are some pics:

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My first kayaking students

Working with Splash Ladakh this season gave me an opportunity to teach kayaking to a family from UK. We took them on a 2 day, 1 night camping trip in the river Indus. The kids showed exceptional bravery and aptitude for kayaking. Especially the girl did it with so much elegance and listened to me with so much intent. I am sure they are going to grow up to be awesome kayakers. We truly had a great time and the family was really grateful to Me, Stanzin and Santosh for getting them safe through out the trip.

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Life is truly outdoors!!

[ssba]