Today was an epic day!! We got to go whitewater rafting, care of Roxanna! As a going away gift, Roxanna Martinez gave us such a cool gift – she wanted to gift us one awesome day of adventure on our trip. And I promised I would make it an a most excellent day that she “sponsored” and do something special. Oh boy and we did!!! THANK YOU, ROXANNA!!
So thanks to Rox, we got to do a special treat that Rick and I had both been dreaming of doing, but didn’t think it was possible in our budget – enter Roxanna’s gift! 🙂 We both love whitewater rafting, but had only gotten to go on our honeymoon We each secretly hoped we’d get to go on this trip… but hadn’t said anything to each other yet. And Nepal is know for it’s rafting (think Himalayan mountain range rivers!). So we happened to start talking to a couple of guides in Pokhara and learned instead of taking a bus to Chitwan National Park (our next destination), we could do a day and a half whitewater rafting trip down the Seti River.
We met our guides in Pokhara and rode to the put in point. We were the only guests on the raft. The Seti is the warmest river in Nepal, and goes through gorgeous gorges and jungle forest, and has views of the Annapurna range.
It wasn’t long after we got our instructions on “Paddle forward”, “Paddle back” and “GET DOOOOWN!” that we hit our first rapids. The raft twisted around and we paddled hard and made it through – I only thought I was going to fall out of the raft once. Rick says he wasn’t going to, but I’m pretty sure his back touched the water.
Then we reached a calm stretch and the guides said time to swim. In the back of my mind I’m thinking… hey, once we get to Chitwan, aren’t we going on a crocodile watching expedition? And we’re rafting to there now. And I’m swimming in this warm river. Hmmm…. But we jumped in anyway! We actually got to swim through some small rapids which was really fun!
We continued and hit a couple more sets then reached our stopping point for lunch. The guides made this amazing set up. They prepared everything from scratch and we got to eat on the beach, and relax a little.
More rafting, with the rapids getting a little bigger each time! It was so fun!
We were tired when we reached our camping beach. Since it was an overnight trip we got to camp right next to the river. I was totally surprised by everything those four guys were about to pull out of the raft – we had a sweet camping set up. We got a tent, and they created a “lounge area” out of the raft and a tarp.
And then we started to learn that our guides were also chefs. I think we got a 7 course dinner that night… the food just kept coming and it was all good! We started with f freshly popped (over an open fire) popcorn. Next was this “party mix” of what I think were dry ramen noodles, popcorn, diced up cucumber and onion and spices – it was super addictive! Then we had soup. Then we had bread. Then we had the main meal, which was spaghetti with meat sauce and a couple of sides of vegetables. It was all delicious and it all came from our raft!
As they prepared the meal, we played games with them… just little games with rock and sticks but it was fun. Rick was building things out of little bamboo sticks – and he, feeling highly confident in his skills, challenged me “ok, Liz, what do you want me to make? Anything!” first thing that came to mind was a rocking horse! Rick did not like that challenge so much at first… but of course, if you know him at all, he’s going to take it on and figure it out. So about 30 minutes later, here is the bamboo rocking horse! J pretty impressive!!
As we played and ate, it grew dark and our guides set up us with a campfire on the beach and lanterns throughout camp. The stars were spectacular!!! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many or seen the milky way that clearly. I guess that’s the upside of the constant power outages… very little light pollution in Nepal! We found a bunch of constellations and a couple shooting stars. And when we were finally exhausted, we slept very well in our tent.
The next morning we woke up to tea ready for us to go, and breakfast. We packed up and got ready to go. It was cloudier today and we were told we would cross into a new river the Tiraslu, which is much colder than the Seti River… so we got wetsuits! I don’t think I’ve worn one before so that was an experience! But they certainly worked to keep us warm! We went through many rapids that morning and then got to swim in this new colder river – Rick jumped in first and I could tell by the look on his face it lived up to it’s cold reputation! I wasn’t really planning to get in, but Rick said I had no choice as he grabbed the back of my life jacket and pulled me into the river with him. It was cold, but with the wetsuit quickly warmed up to bearable.
The crew joked with us and taught us more Nepali words. I have to say, it’s the most fun rafting crew we’ve ever gone with. All smiles and really knew what they were doing -plus excellent chefs!
We finished our trip (back in the raft) with one last great set of rapids! What a treat!! ROXANNE THANK YOU SO MUCH!! We loved every second of it!