Nepal Day 17 (Rafting Day 2)

Early day again, as I woke at 5.30am. Previously woke up at midnight to take a leak and observed that clear skies plus an almost full moon allow enough ambient lighting withou the need for a headlight. Had a most satisfying um… never mind… in the morning, interrupted by a fat Iranian man (pet phrase: “But I siick…”) We have an interesting toilet system. On arrival, one of the guides digs a toilet-hole that is surrounded on 3 sides by a red cloth propped by 3 paddles. Back at camp, one paddle has a helmet on it. If the helmet is on it => toilet free for use. If the helmet is NOT on it => toilet occupied.

After breakfast (porridge, bread, eggs and potatoes) and potatoes, it was off again!

There was a bloody gorgeous post-card worthy picture once when I looked back that’s currently seared into my memory because you obviously can’t take non-waterproof cameras onto a whitewater raft, can ya. Picture the river behind you with a suspension bridge right across in the middle, bridging 2 hills, and hills flanking all the way back with Annapurna South’s peak soaring above the hills back against a clear blue sky. Perfect.

There were some good rapids where we got well and truly tossed around. Great fun. No one else went under, though, more’s the pity. During the more peaceful lengths of the river, we would row our way under some small waterfalls from streams going off the edge of the hills just to get wet. There was also time for a quick swim.

We reached a rest point for lunch with nice [hot] sand. The Danish slackers, er, I mean, useless bugge… er, couple yes, never mind! The girls did a spot of sunbathing while we did a spot of looking out into the distance being manly. Ahem. Yes.

During lunch, I convinced the Dutch girls to swap boats with us for the afternoon, so we ended up with K & J in the same boat. Fortunately, too, the Iranian boat got stuck on 1 rapid for ages and the chief guide had to jump onto shore, toss them a rope and 3 of the guides dragged them off the rapid. Was a wee bit of a damper on the high spirited Iranians who were singing and doing bird calls and all kinds of stuff… except rowing.

There was one gentle rapid that we were told we could swim down. While the rest of our boat looked a bit pensive, I hopped off for a fantastic swim down, keeping in mind to keep my feet in front and avoid swallowing river water. Finally, we arrived at our campside, relaxed for a bit, watched them play childhood games, set up tent and relaxed a bit more.

Dinner was dhal baat. Mmm.. dhal baat…

After the hot water came out, the campfire onto which firewood and all the flammable trash was lit. Songs were sung, traditional Nepalese dance was learnt, the boogie woogie was done. We left early though, fatigued by the long day and pained by our sunburnt distal thighs. Others were just getting the party started, however, as the rum appeared. It would prove to be Danish fatass, erm, I mean, girl’s undoing as she woke up with one heck of a hangover. Hahaha. Ah, well.

This night, I prepared the sleeping bag early. Sleep was good.

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