Asia | Nepal | Kathmandu Valley | Kathmandu – Kathmandu, Nepal – part 2
I saw us going straight into this hole, tried to hold on to the raft, but the next thing I remember is whitewater all around me and the raft upside down in the rapid, just in front of me. While I was still thinking how to survive these massive waves around me and how to prevent being smashed onto one of those huge boulders, our guide counted heads in the water, realised one person wasn’t there, dove under the raft and pulled one of our team members to the surface. She had fallen under the raft, totally panicked and tried to push herself up instead of swimming from under the raft first.
She was fine, we were all fine, in fact this incident was one of the highlights of our rafting adventures for most of the people in my raft. The highest doses of adrenaline I’ve ever felt in my body. And at the same time, we now knew we could trust our lives to these guides. Tarka was there in his kayak within a split second, and because of our professional guides, flipping the raft was not that much of a big deal at all. (that is: when we discussed the whole thing afterwards.) Not only were these guides professional rafters, they cooked like gods as well. Breakfast to dinner, it was all just delicious and different every day, pretty amazing considering the fact that we wouldn’t be able to get any fresh supplies for about 9 days.
We camped on the river beaches at night, played guitar at the campfire, drank some beer or rum punch, played games or just chatted away and got to know each other a bit better.
After two days of rafting with lots of exciting rapids we had a layover day on one of the beaches. Far away from any villages we enjoyed our rest day by playing volleybal, learning how to kayak, swimming, reading, etc. The third day of rafting had most of the big rapids with names like ‘God’s House’, ‘Freight Train’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’. Lots of fun of course. The river widened in the three remaining days making rapids become smaller and less frequent. We just had a good time relaxing and sunbathing as we were floating down the river, occasionally jumping in to cool down from the heat. We passed a couple of small primitive villages, and greeted hundreds of villagers and little kids from our rafts. We went over for tea to one of the villages, met some of the locals and saw how they live. That, all the camping, the remoteness of the river, and the beautiful scenery made this trip to much more than just a rafting experience.
All in all it was an amazing thing and I’ve loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not that day when I got stung by two scorpions on two different occasions, but fortunately these weren’t very dangerous – the pain disappeared after a few hours and that was it.
Nobody really wanted to go back to civilization yet, but the trip was over. The bus was waiting for us where a bridge crossed the river, and after an 18 hour overnight bus trip we were back in Thamel (Kathmandu). Back to busy streets, traffic fumes, electricity, running water and roofs to sleep under.
All of our group was equally enthousiastic about this trip – we’ve had such a great time and the guides did everything they could to make it as much fun possible. They made sure we wouldn’t leave any garbage behind (not even toilet paper, which was burned), and by the time we’d leave a beach it looked like nobody has ever been there before. (If anyone is ever planning on going rafting in Nepal, I highly recommend to book a trip with ‘Ultimate Descents’).
And we’ve all been getting along so well so we met up for dinner last night, we had a couple of beers and ended up having a great party in Thamel’s only nightclub.
Today the group is slowly beginning to fall apart, as some people are leaving for other places. I’m not sure what my plans are at this moment. It looks like I’ll be doing another 2 day rafting trip on the Bhote Kosi river with three others from the Karnali trip.
I haven’t made up my mind about the trekking plans though. I was thinking about doing a 17 day trek (the Annapurna Circuit) in the Himalayas, but the raining season is on it’s way, it’s getting really hot for trekking and the views are not all that good because it’s so hazy outside. Oh well, indecision is the key to flexibility… so I guess it’s not all that bad not knowing what to do!
many greetings from Nepal