To cool off from yesterday’s chili momos I went kayaking today on Fewa Tal. I was considering renting a rowboat since for some reason I thought it would be cheaper than renting a kayak, but after asking around I found out the opposite was true. And in a kayak, you’re right on the water, as if one with the surface of the lake. A fine way to combat dualism.
One of the guys at the kayak rental place helped me take the kayak down to the water a few blocks away. It took me a while to get my sea legs back (or in this case, lake arms) as I had not been kayaking in a while. One of the challenges I faced initially was that periodically for no good reason whatsoever the kayak would just turn around in a complete circle as if it had a mind of its own. There was nothing I could do to stop this — if I fought against the turn in one direction I just ended up spinning out in the other direction. I attributed this to my poor kayaking skills. I finally decided that each time I felt that spinning sensation coming on I would just let the kayak do its thing until I was once again facing the direction I wished to go. Nowhere to go, nothing to do…
I started out rowing toward a small island on one side of the lake, but I decided to just circumnavigate it and not pull into the dock for fear of making a fool of myself trying to get out of the kayak. Then I rowed in the other direction, and as I more carefully observed the surface of the water I noticed tiny little eddies and gentle fluctuations in the little wave patterns. Aha! Therein lay The Mystery of the Spontaneous Spinning. I wondered if things would be different if I were to go in the other direction and I later confirmed this to be true.
I ended up being on the water for about four hours! I was one of only a handful of kayakers out there and I was able to venture to a more placid part of the lake and row around at my leisure, stopping at times to rest and chillax. Coming back I made good time rowing with the current and even though those pesky eddies and whirlpools were still there, I was able to navigate them more easily.
Finally I decided to go onto the tiny island and have a look. It was no more than 50 meters square, and as I got nearer to it I heard chanting and the periodic clang of large bells. I saw colorful decorations and flowers, and smelled incense. Yes, on this baby island there was a baby Hindu temple, just big enough for one person to go inside! I took off my flip-flops and walked clockwise around the temple, spent several minutes taking some photos and relaxing and eventually rowed back to the boathouse. (By the way, I was able to get out of the kayak, and back in, without incident. However a Chinese guy near me was not so lucky. As he was standing up near the dock his kayak capsized and he dove involuntarily into the water with a big splash. As I helped him up I shared with him my Great Fear of Doing Exactly What He Did).
For the rest of the day, standing or sitting, walking or lying down, I had the sensation of gently rocking on an undulating surface of Water, Himalayan Water.