Aug 28, 2018, D-minus-23

Slow Boat Down the Ganges Update 5

15 hours and one night later, this is what came out from the dehydrator. What you see in the picture on the left is dehydrated potatoes that came out of two kilos of fresh ones. This is less than 200 grams, and will not spoil ... till well after the journey is over. I think I will need at least one more similar packet of dehydrated potatoes. Currently, some mashed potatoes are in the dehydrator. Then come the onions later in the evening.

I need to keep energy levels up, considering that I will be paddling eight to ten hours every day. And with no lunch, snacks are what will keep me going through the day. Tomorrow I plan to make some energy bars. Cashew nuts, almonds and raisins, held together with chocolate and honey. I do not like oats, or else I could have added oats as a binding agent, like Granola bars. The other day I had some high calorie energy laddoos. Similar to the energy bar I plan to make with chocolate, but these were held together with jaggery. I was told that each laddoo was 1000 calories ... I doubt that, but it was very filling indeed. And it does not melt and run in the heat like chocolate will. Maybe I will try to make some of these laddoos. Anything to add to the calorie intake.

Clear skies now, but it pelted down in the morning in Delhi. I am hoping the rain continues for a couple of weeks more so that the volume of water in the Ganges is good enough to paddle, and that the current provides some additional help. I was passing by Garhmukteshwar last week, and one of the local people told me about the good rains they witnessed this season and that the river at Garhmukteshwar overflowed. Interesting, when asked how deed the water is, he replied, "At least three stairs." That is about a couple of feet. After the river has flooded. This gives an inkling to the rapidly drying state of the river. If this continues for a few more years, we might well witness the construction of a stadium right where the river once used to flow majestically.

It is increasingly looking like the Goal Zero is not an option. The alternative option is to rig up a unit. But, I just found a ready made alternative. Almost exactly what I need. Less than two kilos in weight, about the size of the Goal Zero, and about five days delivery time from Bangalore to Delhi. This seems to be an option. Will take a call today and pace the order tomorrow. I am not happy about the state of affairs. I have sworn by the Goal Zero for the past three odd years I have had it, and it is sad that I might have to bid adieu to it. But, this generator looks like a handy alternative. I still need to figure out whether the cable connecting the solar panel to the generator needs to be manufactured, or whether the existing one will fit. I cannot be without an off-grid power source, and this seems to be a very good alternative. It is not waterproof or splash proof, but neither is the Goal Zero. Will put it inside a dry bag to prevent immersion.

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