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Teesta: Three

Lots of driving is a guaranteed side effect to kayaking in India. Our trip was already no exception. We started off our second river day with more car time. Normally we like to paddle the steepest, toughest rivers we can find, but currently Sikkim had us beat. We'd seen the section above town and knew it wasn't going to go, so it was time to wander down river to find a put-in.

An early morning start at 10,000'

The humors of international travel. Sure the roads aren't as fast as the Interstates in the US, but there sure is a lot more entertaining scenery. Here is the world's cheapest glow plugs in use. Yes that's a fire under the diesel tank.

From a precipice on the canyon rim we get out first glimpse of the river. Looks pretty good, but very walled in.

Just downstream we crossed the river via a bridge perched on the gorge walls. You can see the river far below!

Under the bridge the river didn't look so good.

  We saw no egress point from the gorge above the deadly rapid below the bridge, and concluded that we'd have to put in further downstream. A little more driving and questioning of locals by our guide Targain and we had access to the Teesta again.

Jesse Coombs hikes to the Teesta River.

In India, everywhere you go someone has been, and even when you think you are in the middle of nowhere, someone is there. And if there is a trail, lots of people are there.

Put-in for day two.

Out of the gates it was non-stop class IV of classic Himalayan character.

Jesse Coombs contemplates as things get steeper.

A kilometer of fun warm up behind us and now it was class V with no pools but enough eddies.

Jesse Coombs boofs the first of a few ledges on the Teesta.

A blow by blow description would be redundant. The next several miles was one big boulder garden we picked apart in pieces.

Beautiful rocks and cold water.

On the Teesta this is a "pool" between rapids. The whitewater makes it hard to enjoy the views.

Standard fare for the course.

A bit of class V heaven on the Teesta.

Whew, is that a pool way down there at the bottom?

Of course for every pool there must be a drop, and the gradient drops away.

Ben and Chris portage.

As the river grew increasingly steep my boat found it's way to the jeeps roof, the joy of roadside exploration!

Ben Stookesberry checks the depth (not deep) before being forced out by the gradient.

The Teesta cascaded over an impossible boulder mess as another bridge crossed it. Being late in the day we opted to call it one, and motored a few miles down to the next town. Our plan would be to return to the section below the bridge in the morning. Looking at it from the road I was having my doubts as to it's run-ability.

To be continued in Teesta Four.

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