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Wander & enjoy the diversity...it feeds your soul “What is more miraculous than the moment?” Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh

Adrenaline rush of the Bhoti Kosi river

NEPAL | Thursday, 8 November 2007 | Views [3709] | Comments [3]

Ann & Kirst - a break during Day 1 of rafting

Ann & Kirst - a break during Day 1 of rafting

Rafting the Bhoti Kosi!

After the worrying about, but surviving (although still nursing a bruised/cracked left rib), the exciting ‘canyoning’ adventure, we’d had a day of rest – reading & writing postcards in the sunny yard surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains.  Kirst & I also took advantage of their massage center - the Dalit or Untouchable class are given training that enables them to have jobs and avoid the extreme poverty – but can also be a source of jealousy for others that don’t get the ‘good’ jobs.  My female masseuse was GREAT!

I was really looking forward to Saturday’s 1st run – less intense & actually more of a training for the second day.  The owners & also sometimes guides, Pat, from Japan/New Zealand (Kirsten had met him on a trip in Japan) & David Allardice (http://www.tlrnepal.com/) had generously given us some time telling us about their adventures that night.  Pat’s story, however, started to make me nervous about rafting (when I hadn’t been)!  Pat said that he had just had a 70 yo man end up in the river, under the raft!  However, even after they had given him CPR, he still wanted to continue down the river the next day.  Pat was emphasizing how well the guides & kayakers that lead & follow the rafts were trained, but of course I freaked out at the thought that they had just had to revive someone!!!  YIKES!  

The Saturday trip was GREAT – fun, exciting, & almost constant rapids!  The big event for that day was that a dead, bloated pig, the size of a cow almost landed in our raft on my side!!!  When I saw it coming, I jumped to the other side & almost knocked Kirsten out of the raft!  What a disaster that could have been! 

The only other downside for me was that we were not given dry tops, so I got rather wet & cold – even tho’ it was a sunny nice day!  I found out that they can’t dry the fleece tops fast enough for the following day, so they save them for the 2nd WETTER day.  Anyway, I was really looking forward to Sun when I could STAY DRY! 

Sat night we re-packed our bags (back to Kathmandu – a 4hr bus ride, right after rafting) & the next morning after another delicious breakfast, we crossed the steel ‘bungy-jumping’ suspension bridge again.  We got on another rickety bus to wind down the narrow road (if you peer out the window, you do not see the road – only the bottomless cliffs below – the drivers cannot make even a few inches mistake)….to our more exciting day of constant 3-4+ rapids!

  • We were told that if this river was in the US, it would not be rafted by tourists!  The rivers do not seem to be rated the same as in the US, even tho’ it is supposed to be standardized.  Because of the steep grade, constant rapids of this river & the litigious climate of the US, rafting a river like this, would not be possible in the US! 

The first part of the river was great – I thought I had the hang of holding on to both ropes when not paddling, jumped down into the raft when the guide shouted, “DOWN!”  Did the “RIGHT FORWARD and the “LEFT BACK” paddles!  We had several rest stops - the rapids were so constant that we needed water & snack breaks.  At one of these breaks, as I hoisted myself back up the rocks, I felt my right shoulder go – sharp pain – could hardly move my arm.  But… got back in the boat, changed sides & started following the guides shouting orders…UNTIL…

 ….I found myself under water – hanging on to the rope that is on the side of the raft.  Time seemed to stand still as I found the force of the water so heavy & strong – nothing like the force of a mountain river just after the monsoon rains!  I kept going under, trying to get back to the top of the water, going under & trying again & again to BREATHE!  A BREATH - not to be taken for granted.  It is so nice to breath! 

I struggled to stay on top & not be sucked down again!  Fortunately, at the break, I had just tightened my life-vest, so I didn’t seem to be getting any water onto my chest!  I thought this was going to be the end – until I saw a red kayak coming toward me!  I remembered the safety lecture – “grab the handle on the front,” but don’t grab the rubber dam enclosing the kayaker, or you both will be under the water.  I had trouble hanging on – my fractured rib, black & blue areas & my pulled shoulders from the canyoning only 2 days before…but the kayaker got me to the side.  He kept calling out to me, “Are you OK?”  “Are you OK?”  I couldn’t answer – I was so short of breath!  Finally, he called out to the other 4 rafts & 4 other kayakers, that I was OK.  I was instructed to climb up the rocks & sit.  I did as I was told – trying to overcome the shock of it all as I went.  I got to the top where I could look down on all the other rafts – everyone staring at me – including my daughter – who waved & blew me a kiss!  I burst into tears – suddenly realizing that I was OK, but so close to what I perceived as my death!

Kirst told me later that she always could see my head – so nothing to worry about.  The guides & kayakers also told me I got so much more for my money than anyone else did!  Well, that was an interesting perspective I hadn’t considered! 

I was told to get into another raft with 5 men (who obviously were really strong – after watching them for a few minutes).  I thought that I could paddle again, but between my exhaustion, my rib & my shoulders, I couldn’t even hold the paddle, so I just tried to hang on to the ropes REALLY HARD for the rest of the trip.  The GUYS did a really good job – got me to the end with no further incidents!

Getting to land felt really good!  After getting off the wet gear, helmet, gloves & booties, I showered & slowly walked up the hill to lunch.  Everyone asked how I was – although rather subdued, I was  so grateful to these guys to rescued me!  I felt like I had failed rafting class, but apparently we had hit a rock just where I was sitting on the raft – which had thrown me out!  You can try to prepare for that, but I guess about 30-40 people a season get tossed out – hence the skilled kayakers waiting in the wings for you!   

During the bus ride home, we stopped for a break & I bought all the guides & kayakers a beer – the least I could do!  I didn’t know how good an idea that was until we got to make another unintended stop for a “free” pee break.  Although I was cautioned to not get to far back in the bushes – snakes?  Falling off the edge? 

Now that it has been several weeks since my rafting adventure – still nursing my rib, I am wondering IF I will ever go rafting again?  I really don’t know, but sitting by a fire & knitting sounds very comfortable & safe.

After a few more days in Kathmandu, Kirst & I headed to the absolute chaos of their airport!  Even though it was only an hour & a half flight to Delhi, it took us over 9 hours from our hotel in Kathmandu to get to our hotel in Delhi!  Nepal’s transportation system has a few issues! 

 (Lesson learned?  Don’t’ know…now on to preparing for today’s English classes, here in McLeod Ganj, Dharmsala, India & reserving our seats for the Dalai Lama’s teachings tomorrow.)

Tags: Adrenaline




I am giving thanks for all that helped you and in awe for what you experienced..love Joanne

  joanne Grefsrud Nov 24, 2007 7:08 AM


Thanks again! I also gave great THANKS for those kayakers that amazed me with their skill! I guess we really do need each other! I used to believe I was so independent, but...glad for their expertise!

  annanderson Nov 24, 2007 8:57 PM


kosi river is very beautiful and loving
because its come down from pahad.
pahad i like very very much, i want live
at this green velly.

  bhikari sharma Dec 7, 2008 10:49 PM

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