Indus River through the Rondu Gorge
Northern Territories, Pakistan V+
It was our last day to be paddling with Rafael Ortiz on the
Indus. Schoolwork called him home, but was not on anyones mind as we
put on the mighty river. Rafa's presence would be replaced by a police
detail assigned to us by whom we'll never know.
Ortiz starts off another intense day.
I was continually in awe of our ant like presence in the Karakoram.
Not long into our day we arrived at "the portage" which is the
cover shot from the "first descent" and I had to chuckle. I'm not too
big a fan of posing photographs, and the portage route was much higher
up than the obviously staged image. We took a walk down to the edge of
the rapid to look at it with no real intention of running anything.
you go in that hole you'll probably end up back in Mexico City" - Phil
the mandatory portage was a grand final for Rafa's journey. 15,000cfs
of water flowing over a narrow bedrock ledge.
The first hole was a bit intimidating. Chris Korbulic
Rafa Ortiz making the most of his last day.
Rafa enters the chaos.
Our euphoria from running the rapid quickly faded as we
were forced to bid farewell to Rafa, knowing his infectious
personality, enthusiasm, and confident boating would be missed. We
floated downstream with a keen eye out for a remote campsite that would
give us an excuse not hike to the road. Camp was found at the ideal
time, so we enjoyed the sandy beach, estimating we had covered at least
twenty five kilometers in our read and run frenzy.