It was, and still is a book close to my heart. With only a few books left in the warehouse and online retailer Amazon thinking its out of print, I figured that I would show some more of ‘Riding The Tears Of Everest’.
Running rivers in small plastic kayaks is a risky sport. It is not the basic messing about in boats of romantic ideals. Venturing to the highest point on the planet just to partake of such folly is seemingly foolhardy. Yet a small group of British travellers did just that. Questioning themselves and the reasons between expeditions and travelling. This book is a brief account of the trip that changed the attitudes of the men. Influenced by Lord Buddha, ethics, self-modesty and responsibility they floated towards India changed forever. These are the simple thoughts and observations of that journey and are only meant to be a guide to the journey. More is said about the trip in the words not used and the things not said.
The words have been pieced together from the obscure mindset of the author following on from the expedition. Many have called this mindset post-expedition trauma which is an area that although significant to the individual and the group is totally irrelevant to the larger audience and the reader. It is little documented and few study the area. The documenting of events enclosed is as close to the fact as the author can remember. Other words, principally those in italic script, are direct observations from the notes and diary made during the trip. Upon first reading the early chapters many may wonder when the white water action will happen. But persevere and although confusing and complex the story of the expedition will develop. This is not a river guidebook. It is a book of a journey, as way of an explanation.
…And so it was that the rain came thundering down the valley, like the riders of the apocalypse. Destruction flooded in the wake. On the last horse was death venturing forth with wrath to conquer the immortal soul of the impersonal culture. A culture that had evolved, spawned by the late 20th century and early 21st century. The wonder of modern science had failed the masses the populace dreamed a ‘New Hope’. A new guru was needed to lead them forward to the Shangri La that had been promised with the birth of the solitary Christ years before. Selfish was the culture; selfish was the individual.
It had been a long time since the people had held the same dream, the same goal. The collective conscious held little passion for this ideal. Stumbling blindly was not productive. It did not draw the much-needed conclusions. Moving the years from the pagan Norse gods to the collapse of the dollar worship of capital ideals, many idols have come and gone; many born then die. All were able to fool those who blinked, willing to listen. Firstly popular spiritual idols were found to fault, then the dominant ideology keep those of the populace separated at a fair distance. The self worked within the group as independence was neglected. From hoaxes to magicians those who looked for escape could only dream a vain hope of finding a cure.
In the middle of Asia, sandwiched between the giant nations of China and India, I find myself with dust on my feet and a mind full of confusion. Confusion that is only balanced by wandering, walking. Every one wanders but many just take strolls allowing the mind to blue sky think. To escape in the mind to other places. I just know that once the dream is formed in my mind, once the seed of travel is planted, I have to act.
Now many years on I think of the river and the emotions, but life changes and things move on. New goals on the horizon and the spirit of adventure is not squashed. Dont know if it ever will be.