Fri, 24 May, 2024

Riding on the Waves

By Dipesh Poudel

Photo: Group photo before rafting Photo Courtesy: Nepal Rafting Center We were pretty excited when our raft guide told us we had three consecutive rapids coming up and one of them called offset2 was a major one. The blood was pumping, the adrenaline rushing and the feeling of fear and excitement in the air. I had never experienced something like this before. On the Nepali New Year’s Eve I and some of my friends went for rafting in the Trishuli River. It was a sixteen Kilometer (16 K.M) rafting trip starting from ‘Charaudi’ to ‘Fishling’. Flowing down the river, riding the waves and enjoying the view were amazing experiences. It all started with one of my friends sharing the post of one rafting organization called Nepal Rafting Center. The post was about a two days and one night package. It included camping and rafting along with meals and lodging. This made everyone excited. We started planning and it came as a gift when our college decided to give a holiday on the New Year’s Eve. We decided that we would go day before New Year’s Eve, stay at camp that night, go for rafting next day and return back to Kathmandu. We met up at Chabel and waited for the vehicle that would take us to our camping spot. We were upset when some of our friends bailed on us at the last moment. While we waited, a man approached us and just started blabbering taking swigs of alcohol straight from the bottle. He said that he had just returned from abroad and showed us his passport. Some of my friends were annoyed while some were amused. He seemed like a depressed drunk and I felt sorry for him. Finally the vehicle arrived and we headed towards our destination. We reached our camp at the riverside in ‘Fishling’ at about 8:30 pm. It was a beautiful and serene place far away from the polluted and noisy city. We stayed up till 2 am having fun singing, dancing and joking around. It was starting to drizzle. It was awesome sleeping in tents listening to sounds of raindrops and flowing river water. [caption id="attachment_6271" align="aligncenter" width="2816"]IMG_0440 Photo Courtesy: Nepal Rafting Center
Photo: Playing in River[/caption] Next day we had breakfast and moved towards ‘Charaudi’ which was the starting point for the rafting trip. We got our gears and moved towards the riverbank to the rafts. There were other groups as well consisting of Nepali people and foreigners. We were joking and laughing a moment earlier but when the guide started giving the instructions we listened to him very carefully. He told us what to do and what not to do. He gave us safety instructions. He gave instructions on what we needed to do when he gave us certain commands and procedures we needed to follow in case we fell from the raft. We started at calm water, practiced for a bit and went off. I was enjoying the ride on the waves when out of nowhere water hit me and I fell off the raft. I went down into the water for some time. Why the hell is this thing not working?, I thought as my lifejacket took some time to bring me up to the surface. When I came to the surface I remembered the instructions that the guide gave us. My friends pulled me to the raft. The guide was reassuring saying that nothing had happened and I was all right. For a second I thought I was done and I was ruled by fear but after sometime I gained control and confidence and we continued our action packed journey. [caption id="attachment_6273" align="aligncenter" width="641"]Photo Courtesy: Nepal Rafting Center Photo Courtesy: Nepal Rafting Center
Photo: Riding the Rapid[/caption] At the end of the day this was a great experience. We could not believe it was already over. We wanted to continue but we had to stop. Every journey must come to an end whether it is full fun and happiness or full of sorrow. This is one day of my life that I will not forget.