On October 15th a motley crew of international paddlers will assemble in Delhi (pop. 13 million) and head off to explore some of Northern India's better kept whitewater secrets. The idea is to spend a few days getting the team and gear together, pour over some maps, make a plan and then head north.
We are looking at traveling 250km north-east into the province of Uttaranchal which sits next to the western border of Nepal. It is here that we will look to explore and paddle some of the rivers and creeks that flow into the Ganges River. When the need is felt we will then head east across the boarder into Nepal in search of more adventure. The plan is pretty basic at the moment but that will all change once the team gets together...
Zak and I form the kiwi connection in the team. Jason 'JJ' Shepard is representing the U.S, Sam Hughes and Stephen Bates of U.K origin and Shalabh Gahault is our man on the ground in India.
Before I got the call from Sam Hughes to go on the trip my knowledge was pretty limited on India. I knew it was big and had heaps of people that ate really hot food. I also knew that they had a pretty good cricket team, but that doesn't mean much because no-one watches cricket any way.
After a little sifting on the Internet I found a few little facts of note. The 7th largest country geographically in the world it in fact boasts the 2nd largest population on the planet. Weighing in with over 1.136 billion people. That's about one-sixth of the earths population. That's a lot! The tough thing about this (depending on who you are) is that 72% of the population is male. Those odds aren't great as a guy.
Preparations are going well here in Wellington. I made the trip to Taihape the other day to visit the boys at Bliss-Stick. Norm and Charles have hooked me up a brand new boat as a part of a Team deal with them so I get to take a new shiny Mystic to India and put it through its paces.
I spent the day in the factory with Andy (builder in Chief) and got to make customise my boat. Cheers boys!