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Kayaking from Nepal to Bangladesh
Indra Rai and Ram Silwal hope to cover 1,800 kilometers in 50 days
Radheshyam Dahal (rsdahal)     Print Article 
Published 2006-08-23 15:25 (KST)   
On Aug 21 2006 two Nepalese men set out to kayak from the base of the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. It will take them approximately 50 days to cover a distance of 1,800 kilometers.

Indra (left) and Ram (right) before leaving on their journey
©2006 Radheshyam Dahal
The journey began almost 80 kilometers away from Kathmandu. Everest climber Indra Rai and rafter Ram Silwal set out from Melamchi in north-east Nepal, at the base of the Himalayas, on mountain bike. Their plan was to use their mountain bikes until reaching Helambu, hike for one whole day and then begin kayaking.

Indra Rai, who climbed Everest on May 15, spoke with us before setting off on his long journey. He said that the aim of this adventure is to promote ecological awareness, link up mountain biking, trekking and kayaking, and to strengthen brotherhood between different countries.

Indra Rai has been a river and trekking guide for the last eight years. He also actively participates in rafting championships on a national and international level. The 30-year-old added that he hopes this effort will help introduce Nepal as a tourist destination and that the contrast between high ground and sea level should provide a unique and interesting experience.

Ram Silwal is a photographer and has worked as a river guide for the past 15 years. He told us: "We really want to promote the protection of nature and the environment, we really hope that our trip will help communicate that."

The pair plan to move onto Koshi Barrage after beginning their journey at Melamchi bridge, cross the border of Nepal and India and then head towards Dhaka and the Bay of Bengal.

They told us that they intend to cover 30 to 50 kilometers a day, although Ram added: "We can cross almost 100 kilometers per day on a white water section."

Imagine traveling 1,800 kilometers in this kayak!
©2006 Radheshyam Dahal
Indra said: "The journey is going to be interesting after crossing Nepal because after that the route is completely mysterious. As long as you go through sea level from the mountainous region the river is flat and we can be deceived. So we have to move very cleverly."

Using their own money the kayakers have everything they need for the journey in their bags. This includes food, money and cooking items. They have to cross dense forest, conservation areas, and public places, so they have to be prepared for anything.

If these guys succeed they will be the first Nepalese to travel this route. Whether they succeed or not is in the womb of the future, but the effort they are showing is appreciated by everybody.

Best of luck to you guys!
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Radheshyam Dahal

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