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Rafting down the Kali Gandaki River: day one

Pokhara Travel Blog

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Kali Gandaki River
Today's walk was easy and flat. It snaked through cultivated land, where women and their children tended to their crops. It was a picturesque setting.

At the end of the hike, our group were split up between two buses that took us to our rafting put-in point on the Kali Gandaki River. I don't remember much about the bus ride, except that the bus lacked suspension. It was difficult to have a conversation without head-butting someone else in the forehead! Before we knew it, the bus ride was over, and we were by the river, packing our dry bags and making doubly-sure our camera barrels were shut tight.

The Kali Gandaki River is Nepal's holiest river. Born high in the Himalayas, it is a tributary of the Ganges River and flows southward into the Kali Gandaki Gorge; one of the deepest in the world.
Kali Gandaki River
Downstream, the locals cremate their dead and release them into the icy-cold water. Upstream, we proposed to crash down the river in four inflatable rafts, alive. In hindsight, I don't know how culturally sensitive this was, but our school (who organised this trip) is part of a worldwide movement for peace and understanding, so I assume it was all right!

From a rafter's point of view, the Kali Gandaki River is consistently entertaining. There were a number of class three and four rapids (which were great for us, because they're big enough to be fun, but not too big that we couldn't handle them -- remember, weren't pro rafters). Buying "cheapy-cheapy" gloves for rafting was a good move, because by the second day, everyone who didn't bring gloves had massive blisters!

That night, we shared the camping ground with another rafting group. We made some make-shift tents by tilting our rafts on an angle and lodging our oars into them and the sand to keep them propped up, and then we draped some canvas over the oars to form the other side of the "tent" wall.

We spent the evening outside the tents, watching the night sky with our backs on the sand. There were plenty of shooting stars!
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Kali Gandaki River
Kali Gandaki River
Kali Gandaki River
Kali Gandaki River
Kali Gandaki River
Kali Gandaki River
Pokhara
photo by: Makkattack