Kayak Pakistan 2012
James Smith, May 13, 2012
We have slowly come to the realisation that when we graduate, somebody will make us leave Aberystwyth. Having quickly ruled out honest work and further study, we’ve been busy planning our summer/autumn/winter holiday.
Incidentally, since visiting Pakistan in summer 2009, all Joe seems to have talked about is ‘how great the rivers out there look’ and how ‘we need to get out there one day’. In a last-ditch effort to shut him up, Chris and I decided to join him on a 5 ½ month kayaking expedition to the Himalayas.
Since the 1970s, there have been a number of kayaking expeditions to Pakistan (see Rafa Ortiz’ descent of the Indus) but we intend to tackle the rivers of Pakistan at their full summer flows.
We have an itinerary in place, albeit quite loose and entirely dependent on river levels and the political situation. Beginning in Gilgit, we’ll warm up on an easier section of the Gilgit river before trekking up as high as we can, putting on and descending to the Indus confluence. We’ll then explore the tributaries of the Gilgit, heading over to the Hunza valley and if we have time, cross the Shandur pass and explore the Mastuj river basin and the Chitral area. We intend to spend around two months in Pakistan before heading over to India and Nepal, rounding the trip off in Arunachal Pradesh.
The aim of our trip is to put Pakistan back on the kayaker’s map. In recent years, the Pakistani tourist industry has suffered not least due to its portrayal in the media; we hope that by sharing our story, photos, videos and river guides we can present a true picture of this wonderful region and its people, encouraging other likeminded groups to visit.
For more information about us and what we do, see our recent video and we’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.