Knowing The River
There was very little bird life visible around the river today. Water was cold but not so freezing that you hate to put your feet into it, something we are oblised to do so many times everyday when our boat run into shallow or when we beach them or relaunch them after a break.
Lunch break on a sand bank was a wonderful experience. Our dear Dorjee had packed Veggie Pulaw, salad, pickles and cheese. Now that Yarlung is running through a mountain landscape it is a different feeling fro the earlier open countryside. Surprisenily it is very little or no activity on the river most of the time. No people, no boats, and hardly any fishing, we just came across one small fishing boat manned by two Chinese fishermen from Sichuan province. Tibetans don’t fish they are just not fish eating community. For transport there is good road infrastructure in place and the river with its shallows and rapids, seasonal high’s and low’s does not make it ideal year round transport channel.
We did about 98 km today and by evening we reached near Shigaste. Camped at a lovely place by the river. As we were about to slip into our tents the wind picked up. First it was just a sand storm blowing away the beach but soon a shower followed and the harmless sand storm turned into a regular rain that even threatened the humble anchoring of our tents. One thing that a river expedition is not afraid of is gear getting wet. We are prepared to get wet the whole day and technology has ensured that even the most delicate electronic and photography equipment remains dry in their respective in their dry bag and cases.
It was a night of anxiety but not of alarm. And finally the tried souls got the better of the angry rain Gods and the sound of snores drowned the hollows of fading storm.