In the Naga's Wake: The First Man to Navigate the Mekong, from Tibet to the South China Sea

In the Naga's Wake: The First Man to Navigate the Mekong, from Tibet to the South China Sea

Mick O'Shea

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 1741148693

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Upon first seeing its unforgiving rapids, 20-year-old traveler Mick O’Shea began dreaming of a solo expedition down the Mekong River, from its source in Tibet to the South China Sea. This exhilarating travel novel captures O’Shea’s extremely dangerous kayak adventure into the unknown through remote gorges, terrifying rapids, and deadly whirlpools, past floating headless bodies, looming dams and terrifying Chinese soldiers. Always seeking adventure and adrenaline, this explorer was immediately attracted to the Mekong’s power as well as to its spiritual and cultural significance and exotic beauty. This extraordinary true story of one man’s wild ride down one of the fastest and most dangerous rivers in the world is a compelling read for armchair travelers, extreme-sports fans, environmentalists, and Southeast Asia enthusiasts.   

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people. In days gone by, the fearless horse-riding warriors of Tibet swelled the ranks of Genghis Khan’s armies and shot fear into the hearts of Han Chinese emperors as far away as Beijing and Shanghai. Even the emperors of Persia to the distant west were forced to yield to the great armies that hailed from the wild lands of the Tibetan Plateau. To this day the horsemen of eastern Tibet still carry small sabres, referred to as grai, which are always fastened to Naga's Wake pages 29/8/06 5:16

rock while practising his mandatory twenty-three point U-turn on a mountain pass and the other was with a sedan. His reaction on both counts was the same. He would inevitably blame the other party before laughing about the incident. We arrived in Dali, a city set on the banks of the beautiful Lake Erhai, a major catchment of the upper Mekong. The site marked the furthest point reached by the longest recorded manpowered journey along the Mekong River prior to 2004. In the nineteenth century, amid

dragged his feet to a nearby desk where he proceeded to slip on an immigration 161 Naga's Wake pages 29/8/06 5:16 PM Page 162 162 In the NAGA’S WAKE officer’s shirt, doing up the top button only. Taking my passport in one hand, he opened a large notebook and started taking down some details with the other. I noted that in the arrivals book there had been only perhaps twenty international arrivals in the past month and four of them had been the New Zealanders from the other expedition. He

manual labour without reward. On the other side of the river in Laos the people were all smiles. Brian and I desperately wanted to talk to some of the workers but with armed officials looking on and without filming permits we thought better of it. We walked into the village of Ban Thaat, where Brian and I had spent an evening a year earlier as part of the tiger tracking expedition Naga's Wake pages 29/8/06 5:16 PM Page 176 176 In the NAGA’S WAKE on the Nam Pha River. Our previous visit had

first exploration and navigation of the Mekong. I couldn’t put my consultancy company on hold any longer as it would mean my staff would probably end up losing their jobs while I spent another year working out the logistics and funding for the expedition. It was a price I was not willing to pay. There were some long days filled with doubt after Alan left. Would it really be worth risking my company, my life and all my worldly possessions in order to chase a dream that had a significant likelihood

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