Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flying With The Birds

This morning, I woke up and quickly remembered that I was going paragliding!  After breakfast, we walked to our coordinator’s office, where we got a ride to the paragliding company.  From there, we drove up to a hill where several other paragliding companies and clients were flying.  We were each assigned a pilot who would give us a thirty minute flight, with an option of doing tricks at the end.  Baboo, my pilot and I were one of the first teams to fly.   When it was our turn to take off he clipped me on to a huge kite.  During take off we both had to run down a hill until we were ripped into the air!  We were soon soaring like a bird in the sky! 

Imagine a group of paragliders looking like a swarm of vultures.  Twenty to thirty giant kites flew in a circle gaining elevation when the wind came, and losing elevation when the wind died.  After about three quarters of our 30 minutes were over, we started moving towards a big lake on the edge of which Pokhara sits.  Over the lake we had enough elevation to do some flips and turns.  Before this point, the flight had been calm, gently gliding through the sky.  Once the acrobatics started, it all changed.  My guts came up to my throat and my cheeks flapped across my face.  The end of the flight sadly came, and we landed on a small flat section of grass by the lake.  At the landing spot, we were picked up by a van that took us back to Pokhara.  Later in the afternoon, we were going to go rafting and kayaking on the same section of river as yesterday.

We came back into town to eat a quick lunch before hitting the water.  We were soon at the put-in ready for a big day of what was going to be carnage and damage.  Our first clue to the destruction ahead was the rock we ran into in our first 500 meters.  That was when I had the premonition that day was going to be quite “interesting.” 

In the next event, my dad flipped and could not roll back up.  This means he was popped out of his boat and bounced around through drops, waves, and rocks.  To a kayaker, swimming is very bad form, annoying, and very dangerous.  In the process of rescuing Dad’s boat, one of the kayak guides ripped his spray skirt and had to hike out with his kayak.  Next, I fell out of the boat in a big drop and managed to swim into an eddy.  I was picked up by the raft, but lost both my flip flops.  Before the biggest rapid, the one we flipped on yesterday, my dad swam again, this time through the big rapid, denting and putting a hole in his boat.  The second kayak guide ran through a giant hole in the big rapid trying to get to Dad, followed by Mom.  Both of them flipped and swam.  The kayak guide hurt his shoulder badly and Mom lost her paddle. Next, the raft almost flipped again and one of the raft guides fell out.

The kayak guide swam again a few rapids later, and we had to rescue him because he was too weak to kayak.  Mom was paddling with Dad’s paddle.  When we rescued the guide, there was no room for two kayaks on the raft, so Dad had to borrow the guide’s paddle and kayak with his broken boat to finish the run. 

Well, our family likes adventure and even we thought the boating trip was scary!  I hope next time we can run the river with no swimmers!

Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!   

ps - Tomorrow we will go on a 2 day raft and kayak trip.  Considering our previous rafting/kayaking events, I’ve decided not to bring the computer.  I hope you can understand this, and I’ll be back before you know it (Saturday night)!!    


  1. Enough, already!

    I may just have to quit reading your blog.

  2. No! Don't do that! We'll calm down!

  3. Crickey, Rohan! I think your folks need to have you do less math and more work on your synonyms. "Interesting" generally means fascinating, intriguing, or amusing, not life-threatening! I'm glad to know you're a good swimmer.
    Take care, Jackie

  4. To the tune of "Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night" (Any Irving Berlin fans out there?)

    Lost a kidney, lost a spleen
    Won't stop paddling, as Mom has seen
    We've got a guide in the water and a skirt that's ripped.

    Got Dad's paddle, mine was lost
    Love these rapids, despite the cost
    Rohan's lost his flip flops and the guides were tossed.

    And with the family in water and Doris worried 'bout her daughter, I can write!

  5. That's AWESOME, Andrew!! I'm so glad you're back on the RG train!! Love it!

    And haha, Jackie!! Rohan is the champ at understatements. That was a day of carnage to be sure. I love reading your comments!

  6. Not worried about the daughter. Too late for that. But my grandson ...
    I must check to see who is the beneficiary of the 529 plan if he doesn't survive this big adventure.

  7. I don't really understand financial stuff too well, but I think that under Beneficiary you should put "Coward, Andrew D."