The blue sky littered with white clouds reflect in the calm of fewa lake, Nepal. Above high on a hill away from the carpet of paddy fields and the scattering of houses is where we find ourselves. David and Babu dress in high altitude clothing and beckon us toward their harnesses. A tandem paraglide flight onto the ‘Horizon of Annapurna’ and the descent to the Marsyandi river is our aim.
We were set to push the limits of the guidebook. Kayaks were sent to Khude and we were going to paraglide to the Maryland river then trek up into the hills of Annapurna and the journey from Synge. A tribute to the adventures of AJ.
“Run run run” Babau called as he pushed me forward, within an instant we were adrift on a thermal cushion high above the ground. “Body left, left, left, left” we arced, we swirled. Higher and higher we circled. The paraglide grasping at thermals and forcing spins both fore and aft.
Calm and still we sat searching the sky for the thermal uplift that would take us up and over the ridge and deep into the heart of the Annapurna. As we search the web of thin thermal lines we were crowded by inversions and began a descent to earth. The thermals had not been kind and we would have to make another attempt after landing. Twice more we set off on our flight and twice more mother nature denied us the challenge. Time was pushing against us as our boats and gear sat in Khude. It was time to change plan. To head into the hills in a micro van and jeep. Late at night we were still walking up the trail and the place we hoped our kayaks would be.
As the shadows disappeared and night fell. As candles and oil lamps guided us we walked forever onward.
The night spent in a lodge and our kayaks collected we set off again. Crowded into a jeep we made it all the way to Syange before breakfast. Soon into the cool waters we were off into tow backs and boofs, Sticky holes littered the river but we paddled fast and clean. Each one of us taking it in turns to charge ahead to read and run. Within a matter of hours we were back in Khude and the lodge a time for food and sleep.
Following the night of rest we were once again river living and head down paddling through the guidebook.. In just under an hour we had paddled the section from Khude to the dam and after paddling across the lake waited. The road of dirt was our only way out and we just sat….a bus WOULD be our retreat back to Pokhara.
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