White Water Rafting Grade 4+

Trip Start Nov 02, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nepal  , Central Region,
Saturday, December 31, 2011

After meeting John and Lindsay in the Everest Steak House, I bumped into Chris from the Annapurna Circuit who's heading off white water rafting in the morning…   and after a few beers I decide to join him, (even though I am completely exhausted... at least I can see again (that’s another story)), sure what else would I be doing on Hogmanay.  So much for a few rest days in Kathmandu!
So up at 6am, packed and away!  What am I doing… honestly?  I went up to the rafting place and they could fit me in, so I signed up for 2 days, paid and I’m on a bus heading to the top of the Bhote Kosi River for a Grade 4+ white water rafting experience.  I tell you ignorance is bliss, I couldn’t even tell you anything about Rapids Grade’s… but I can assure you that I can now! The Bhote Kosi is also known as the Tibetan River, it’s one of the steepest, white water in Nepal,"with turbulent rapids and sheer drops".

I’m in a raft with crazy family from Oz, Ruth and Chris and their 2 kids Daniel and Lizzy, Chris,Fred, and our guide 'Awesome’ (his name was similar but we couldn’t get it), anyway he loved his nickname.  The Oz family are all adventure junkies and are just down from Island Peak, I think the mum Ruth is the ring leader, she is extremely funny and keeps trying to do a Scottish accent.  She knows I not 100% comfortable with the rafting but that just makes them worse, they really are great fun though and really made the trip.   

When we arrive at the lower Bhoti Kosi, we’re briefed on all our safety stuff and taught the basics before we jump in for a pleasant Grade 2 part of the lower river. It’s really enjoyable and half way through, all the rafting guys make up our lunch on the river bank.  We have pasta and salad and rice and tuna, fresh fruit etc.and enjoy sitting in the sun which has just come out.   When we get back into the raft, we head a bit further down the river before everyone jumps off a outlying huge rock and into the river (well except me, and Awesome) and it’s all good fun.  

After our initial training we're done for the day and head to the Borderlands resort where we're checked in.  I'm in a wee 2 man tent which is cozy, and once we're all settled in we head down for dinner which is a buffet.  There's a live band laid on as it's Hogmanay and i enjoy the evening with my team mates, and bring in 2012 dancing away with lots of new friends, before heading off to my ‘tent’ for bed.
Happy New Year!  2012

In the morning Daniel is heading up to do a bungee jump at the last resort before our day's rafting which gives everyone a bit of time to kill.  The family head out with him and they return just after we're finished breakfast all high as kites!  It looks a really thrilling adventure but it's not one I'll be trying, I'm just not brave enough.  Anyway I pull on my wetsuit and prepare for the day’s adventures, and what a day it was… starting from the top of the Bhote Kosi River in Nepal.  A quick recap on yesterday’s instructions and we’re off.  

We’re no sooner in the river when we’re hitting huge Grade 4+ rapids, it’s terrifying… and exhilarating and we’re all frantically working as a team as ‘Awesome’ shouts out our instructions.  Some of the rafting safety staff take photos from the riverbank for us, we have a whole safety and support team.  Just as well, as I am the first (and last) person tossed out of the raft, it was crazy.  The boat was bent doubled and I was thrown overboard!  I had the ride of my life though I can tell you, way down the rapids, bobbing up and under as the river threw me around, thankfully one of the safety kayaks was after me straight away, when my life jacket brought me up I was screaming blue murder, he tried to calm me down and instruct me on holding onto his kayak like we’d been taught the previous day.  He eventually succeeded and got me to the side of the river.  Unbeknown to me everyone else managed to stay in the raft and Chris (Oz) came straight to get me back into the raft, so I couldn’t chicken out (which I would have).  What an adventure… the day was intense and I can’t believe that I actually managed to continue rafting.  

At one stage they put everyone on land and went to asses Grade 5+ rapids, the guides brought the rafts down but it was tough going for them, although watching them was fantastic – that’s real skill.  We all jumped back into the rafts and continued down river, it was a rapid and exciting afternoon, although I have to admit I was pleased to get back on dry land (which I think I actually kissed when I got back on).

Once again our crew had lunch ready for us after our adventures and it was a quick change into dry clothes on the bus before setting off back to Kathmandu.  Our team all got on so well that we arranged to meet for dinner and say our farewells when we got back down and met up in New Orleans cafe where we recapped on some of the highlighted... well they mainly laughed at me being terrified and getting tossed in!.  We had a fantastic adventure together, great fun and was lovely making new friends.  

What an adventure and what a start to the New Year, here’s to many more.
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Malcolm on

"The boat was bent doubled and I was thrown overboard! I had the ride of my life though I can tell you, way down the rapids, bobbing up and under as the river threw me around, thankfully one of the safety kayaks was after me straight away, when my life jacket brought me up I was screaming blue murder"

Crazy Clare! That sounds horrendous, not 'fun' at all! :-)

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