Without any canoeing experience, but with a desire to see a part of the world I'd always dreamed of, I set about taking on the Mekong River in Laos - I kept a video diary of my trials.
In 2011 I paddled the Mekong River in a wooden canoe I bought from a fisherman in Laos.
I had been travelling overland through Asia and was keen for an adventure to really push my senses a bit. Here I was in this amazing part of planet Earth but it didn’t feel like I’d really got stuck into it yet. I needed to feel it, smell it, taste it somehow.
The Mekong sounded so exotic to me, with its muddy brown waters, mythical dragons and thick jungle journey. My imagination was in overdrive! I had not heard of anyone paddling it before but I had a feeling it would be possible. I mean the locals must travel along it somehow right?
Up against me were a few challenges: I had virtually no experience of canoeing and no idea what the river would be like. On my side however, was an unquenching thirst for adventure and a positive attitude. I suspected success might be all about attitude.
On my side however, was an unquenching thirst for adventure and a positive attitude
It took a bit of work to find a canoe and persuade the fisherman I actually wanted to buy this thing, for real. Haggling to $155 was the easy bit. But then I’d done it… I had my own canoe… I had to go through with it now!
What followed was easily the craziest 7 days of my life! It had everything from rocks and rapids to unreal sunsets, from men with guns to the warmest tribal hospitality imaginable. I saw elephants, river snakes, dead floating pigs and a Buddist ceremony. I had never experienced such an intimacy with nature; I didn’t know it was possible.
I’m not Bear Grylls, I’m not in the SAS, I’m mr average who jacked in his office job back home. The only thing brave about me is I dared to listen to my heart and believe it might be possible. I want to share my video to show how easy it is to get out there and do these things.
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