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The Indus River through the Rondu Gorge
Northern Territories, Pakistan V+

Episode Five

A good nights sleep on the beautiful Indus.

The beauty of traveling is that each day offers up the promise of the exotic. Eating beef in most countries is a rarity, and these guys look stoked about the prospect.

 Phil Boyer scouts the first large rapid.

Rafa Ortiz dodges a hole.

   One of the few industries on the Skardu Highway is semi-precious gem mining. From what we gathered, it’s a temporary dangerous job that pays well. Families camp out while men mine for a few months. 

Children loved to watch us figure out the puzzle pieces of the Indus.

Rafa Ortiz figures it out once piece at a time.

Ben Stookesberry out in a big rapid.

Phil Boyer.

Rafa Ortiz finishes a rapid, dwarfed by the vastness of the Karakoram.

   In route to lodgings we had seen a good chunk of the rapids from the road, and many looked intimidating. The assumption was made that we would be scouting a lot. Ben Coleman on paddling big water; “you just have to let go”.

   And let go we did! We would take turns leading into long rapids, catching eddies, aggressively boat scouting as far as possible and then pushing past the point of no return. Not wanting to slow the team down we all followed as best we could, as the lead paddler would disappear behind massive waves. Drive right squeezing past a hungry hole, then quickly turn and paddle as hard as possible back to the left avoiding yet another equally scary hydraulic.

Rinse and repeat the same cycle for many miles.

Things had progressed off the river too, and we were given a personal security escort from the police.