Nicky paddling in Nepal

By Nicola Beeby>

We arrived in Kathmandu and after spending a couple of days getting used to the pace of life here, and seeing the most amazing Devali celebrations, we headed of to the Karnali river, which is Nepals longest and largest river, carving its way through the remote western side of Nepal, starting high up cutting its way through canyons and then ending meandering through areas of scarcely populated pristine jungle, before heading into india.

For the trip we met everyone from Paddle Nepal in Nepagunj, after a quick 60min flight which saved a 17 hour bus journey! Spent a night in the hotest dampest room possible, then had a 4 hour journey to the get in, stopping on the way for food, only to find out that due to the Devali celebrations there wasnt really much food in the town, so after a breakfast of nepalise sweet tea we headed on. I was impressed the bus made it, at times i could touch the floor out of the window, to tell you a little bit about what the road was like, very impressive driving.

After the rafts were loaded up, we headed off for a afternoons paddle, big warm water paddling. What followed over the next week was a daily routine of sleeping, paddling and eating, so simple yet so rewarding, this i could get used to. The 1st 4 days had excellent big volume rapids, big and bouncy with a few must make lines to add to the entertainment. Classic evening conversation “Im sure i turned round to see you upsidedown?” “No i was defnatley upright!” then heading off to find someone who was watchimg to settle the disccusion once and for all.

After this the river calmed down and twisted its way through the jungle, the food to this point had been excellent but when passing a village it was decided a pig was required for all those meat eaters. What followed was a masterclass of how to prepare and cook every single part of the pig for eating. Everyone ate in style that night!

Every year the river changes with the monsoon and there are often landslides, we had got to a section of the river that was flat and some people were trying out kayaking, then appeared a horizon line and what shall now be known as “comedy rapid” as it caught many people off gaurd and there were plently of swimmers to pick up in the pool below, it appears this was a completly new rapid caused by a massive landslide.

We finally arrived at the get out, went for dahlbat and then went by bus then jeep back to the airport for a very hot humid wait for the envitably delayed plane to take us back to Katmandu.

Onething is for sure, i will definatley be doing more multiday kayaking! and thank you to paddle nepal for letting us “tag along” with the trip.

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