Previous logbook




Next logbook
Follow us by GPS

In the last few days I have moved fast through several neighbouring states. Yesterday, for example, I rowed between Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. It is the small things which tell me I am crossing state borders. I notice this from the natural environment which has changed in three days from the arid plain of Bihar to the hilly, rich vegetation of West Bengal. Even the expertise of the people changes. The small wooden boats of the Bihar fishermen have given way to even smaller lighter boats made of the wavy sheet metal which might also be used for roofing sheds and small houses. It is also interesting to note how the dried cow manure, which is used as domestic fuel everywhere, takes different forms – from plum cake shaped to omelette (yes, I miss European food!) One thing, however, I always find wherever I go, is that men are great consumers of gutkha – chewing tobacco that turns them into walking factories of brown spit.

The factor which tells me I am moving through India more than any other, however, is my own tiredness. And with tiredness I become distracted. Yesterday, for example, I forgot to bring my water bag on board. Luckily I noticed just in time to tell Kunal – my precious Indian assistant – who was on the river bank to see me leave as usual.

As I departed, I made a quick mathematical calculation and – given the short distance I had to cover – reckoned the journey would be feasible in just over four hours. I could not have been further from the truth. It was a very slow and long day, with an average speed of 1.7km per hour that ended up, once again, with me being accompanied to land by a passing boatman. Without the help of the Indian people – always ready to give me assistance – I would not be able to navigate this great and unpredictable river.

Alex Bellini - barca - 10 Rivers 1 Ocean
Alex Bellini - villaggio - 10 Rivers 1 Ocean
Alex Bellini - Gange - 10 Rivers 1 Ocean
Alex Bellini - barca - 10 Rivers 1 Ocean
photo credit: Alex Bellini