A “ducky” is best described as a small, two-man inflatable kayak. “Only have a go in it if you’re thirsty for adventure!” advises trip leader Harendra “Gappu” Rawat. “You need to be happy with the idea of taking a few dips!” Thrill-addict that I am, I opted to trade my place in the relative comfort and safety of a big selfbailing raft for a front seat in the unstable ducky as we prepared to run the mighty Chookha, the biggest of the Kali Sarda’s infamous rapids
An expedition down the Mahakali can quite aptly be described as ‘a trip right out of The Jungle Book’: perfect weather, warm water, pristine wilderness, no roads, plentiful wildlife and big sandy beach campsites crisscrossed with fresh leopard tracks! I was expecting a fun-filled week dominated by aquatic adventures, yet the Kali surpassed even my wildest expectations.
As I approached the roaring rapid, I looked down stream and saw Canadian safety kayaker Daveprothero vigorously pumping his fist in the air: it was the signal that the rapid was safe and we could run the meatiest part of the wild water-water just ahead. As I lined up my small boat to hit the guts of the rapid,I watched Captain Rana guide his raft into the white-water mayhem in front of me. One moment the raft was cruising through the big waves, next second it disappeared