So an early start following a late night meant that most of the group slept on the bus, but I was too engrossed in the scenery to shut my eyes. It was a 120km drive towards Kathmandu to the start of the rafting session, and I saw everything from car wrecks to bovine funeral pyres.
There were 9 of us so we split in to two groups, and I went on the raft with Kat, Jay, George, George, and the instructor, Nim. We were all very relieved with the safety standards as Nim emphasised that the lifejackets were made in England, not Nepal. We did some safety drills and practice moves and then headed onto the river, reaching the first rapid rather rapidly. We were allowed to swim for a while on a quiet bit, which was really nice. The current was really strong so we didn’t have to waste energy trying to keep up with the boat.
The rapids ranged from level 1 to 4, and after a nice long run, I managed to go overboard on a 3. I was also the only person to do so the entire day. Although it was actually good fun careering through the rapids on your back! The safety kayakers were next to me in seconds and I was ok in the water for a bit, but Nim insisted on dragging me back onto the raft before the next set. It wasn’t in the least bit scary, but I went under a few times and swallowed a fair bit of water so I spent the next 10 minutes burping!
We stopped for lunch after 3 hours of rafting, and afterwards for the last leg of our journey there were rafts everywhere so it wasn’t quite as good as the first half, but we still had lots of fun. Nim kept trying to push us in and succeeded once or twice so we were constantly on our toes, preparing for a dunking. The kayakers kept showing off and doing stunts which was really cool to watch until we “ran over” one of them in the raft while he was upside down! He came back up grinning though so I assume it wasn’t the first time that’s happened!
It was over far too quickly and before I knew it we were back on the bus home. The journey felt like it took forever, especially with George snoozing on my shoulder, but eventually we were back in Pokhara where I was able to wash the sludgy sand out of my hair before going to the Monsoon bar for dinner. I quite like Monsoon, the food is good, they have decent toilets and they have wifi!