Preparation Day as the first ever fleet of SUP’s arrive in Bhutan

It was a little like Christmas in Bhutan this morning – big boys opening big toys, as the first fleet of SUP’s in the country get unboxed and checked over on our preparation day.  The talented team of river guides here were excited to see them arrive and eager to learn all about the worlds number one growing water sport. Our brand new JOBE boards were shipped direct from the manufacturer in Holland with the help of the UK supplier Gareth from ‘Get on the water – Cardiff’, who although touch and go a week ago, managed to get them into the Himalayas – ‘Thanks Gareth and the Jobe team!

 

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Xplore offices with the team – A little like Christmas!

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Morning spent showing the team the set up!

So with the boards prepared it was time to load the truck and send the kit and the guides over to the river to be there a day ahead of me and the group. We intend to run the rivers as 12 team members plus me on SUP’s, supplemented by two safety kayakers. Its great to be working with Chencho and Thinley again, both are part of the Xplore Bhutan team of staff and initially came into Nepal to be trained by me on the ‘International River guide training program’ to then return as the first qualified guides here. They were also involved with the visit I did in September 2015 when I came over to run the first in country guide training program in Bhutan. They’ll be my support team on the river and I’m looking forward to being back on the water with them again.

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Multiple vehicles for boats, Bikes, camp kit and the team!

In addition to the truck load of SUPs and safety kayaks theres also a truck full of bikes been loaded today. This will follow the team bus us as we travel across Bhutan to also take advantage of some stunning cycling, including the descent from 3200m following the road down from the Docha La pass for two hours into the Punkaha valley at 1600m!

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Starting to check and load the fleet of bikes

Then theres the final vehicle – thats the one with the camp kit in it for our camp on the side of the river, with tents, food and supplies for all of the team.

So, kit ready, team briefed and vehicles sorted just one thing missing  – the team!

I’m in Thimphu, the capitol of Bhutan, with Karma another of the xplore Bhutan staff. He is one of the top cultural and activity guides here who I have known for a number of years and as in the past, he will be with me through the trip to help with the local knowledge and culture for the group.

Tomorrow we meet the expedition team of 12 women from Singapore, the Philippines and Dubai for the first time.  We have the afternoon in Thimphu with time to look around the capital and our first expedition briefing ro prepare them for the following days adventures. After that we depart on what can only be described as quite a unique expedition and adventure that no one else has done before!

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13 Sups. The first fleet in Bhutan!

 

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