It was another wet night in the tent. I slept fully dressed in raingear. The dampness took its toll and my lungs have tightened up like I have asthma. It’s killing me and this morning I didn’t look so hot as I made my way down to the confluence pool for the last time.
Niel was already there and he’d made several unsuccessful passes. He saw me, and probably saw how terribly beaten I looked and stepped out and told me to get in and give it a try. He generously announced he was going to get us both a cup of coffee.
Before he got twenty feet I hooked what I thought was a snag. I couldn’t believe it. What was I even doing up feeling so crappy? And now I was about to lose my rig. But the snag started to move. I had a fish!
Niel heard my joy and turned back. I’m glad he did because this was a rare instance where I didn’t have at least my waterproof camera. After a powerful battle I slid another of the mystery fish like Dawes caught two days ago up on the bank. He was another robust one and Niel clicked off a few shots for me.
After the fish I went back to my tent. I felt lousy. I put my rain pants on and plopped on top of my soaking wet sleeping bag and dozed on and off for the next hour while it rained. I was glad we were getting off the river today.
By ten we packed up our wet stinky camp and loaded the rafts. We fished a few spots in the four mile trip to the take-out, some spots quite good looking but no luck. Today was the first day of mahseer fishing where I didn’t land at least one. The mystery fish will suffice however.
We arrived at the take-out around 1 PM. The sun came out. The crew broke everything down then we posed for some group pics. They are a nice bunch of guys and I think they gained an appreciation for the river. I know after our trip they’ll be spending more time out there because we left them our raft as a gift. They’ll need to be careful but on the lower river they shouldn’t have a problem.
After we packed up the trucks, we went to Royal Manas National Park headquarters for a tour from Tshering. He showed us where the King stays when he visits. The place was pretty sweet to say the least.
Jon, Niel, Dawes and I weren’t allowed in the Kings quarters but we were able to relax on his porch. We’ve been sitting and sleeping on rocks all week, usually in the rain so we got quite cozy. Then the beers started appearing and it was like we went to heaven.
After lunch we loaded up with Sangay and our other driver Chenning. They had a mini vacation while we were floating and were excited to have us back on board. Then we drove back up north and stayed the night in the same cabins we did on the way down. We’re back to civilization.
It’s raining cats and dogs now. We’re concerned that this could be the start of monsoon which could mean more landslides. Hopefully none will turn our 20 hour journey back to Thimphu into a 40 hour drive and we miss our flights home Sunday!