With Sri lanka providing us with 'liquid gems' time after time , an incredible driver and so many successful days we were starting to worry the trip was turning into a holiday. 
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Expedition hardships
The Kehelgamu, a tributary of the Kelani, seemed super steep on the map, but we knew a large portion of that was soaked up by the massive Laxapana waterfall. How much though, we couldn't tell. With heavy rain in the valley, we decided to hit the gamble button.
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The most paddling we did on the first day of this mission
Three hours of walking to, through and around a river made us remember how lucky we've been to find the amount of clean classics we have done so far. It was like canyoning...but with awkward heavy boats. 
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The canyoning would have been so much easier without unnecessary chunks of colourful plastic!
After putting in at the mahoosive waterfall our portage fest (helped by yet another mini-hydro project) around the next 4 km left us leech coated, aching and knackered, but also feeling content that we were satisfying our mission to explore Sri Lanka's rivers.
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

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We met some interesting wildlife on our portage
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And the remains of others we were happy to avoid.
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After our interesting previous day and with limited time left, some of us were dubious about returning to the same unsatisfying river. But with monsoon rain pouring all night long the majority were confident that the  river could turn a corner and turn into another Sri Lankan classic . And guess what.. it did!

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The turning point on the river!
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We had to work hard for this one, but an intense 4 hours of continuous grade 3-4 grew and grew with the addition of numerous pumping tribs, ending in clean grade IV-V boulder garden excitement.
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More read and run than you could shake a paddle at!
And the best bit about the whole river? It flowed straight into the tonking Upper Kelani, then through our home run (the rafting section), and it was just a 10 meter walk to the cold beers in the fridge back at Borderlands base!
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Apologies for the quality of pictures, it was a pretty wet day!
We didn't know it at the time, but for this first descent, the effort was well worth the reward!
Bill
8/25/2011 06:54:22 pm

the dude with the blue boat looks very handsome :-)

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Joe and the rest of the Venezuela team
9/3/2011 07:00:34 am

Just had a flick through your blog, looks like you've done some sweet stuff guys...but I bet beer and petrol aren't as cheap, a big considerations for kayaking holidays...I mean expeditions...

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Dave Burne
9/7/2011 07:32:03 am

Haha! No, and it's so populated that even in the jungle theres a road within a days walk. I hear that could have been useful for you guys...??

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