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Easter Egg Hunting in Nepal

With what seemed like a thousand taxis touting for our business, arrival into Kathmandu airport truly signified the start of the adventure. Having been to a few far flung destinations dragging my kayak along previously, it was music to my ears.

This March myself, Sam Clegg and Rich Kemble headed out to Nepal, with the aim of exploring the incredible culture, people and mountains that it has to offer. Following certain events, it was decided that in some way we wanted to contribute something towards the Mountain Rescue services; in our case the local Ogwen Valley team. We intended to raise awareness for the role that the team undertakes and contribute towards much needed funds for potentially lifesaving equipment within their Swiftwater Rescue services. The result was that we donated almost four-hundred pounds in funding and equipment to OVMRT.

Prior to heading out we had diverse aspirations, though eventually we planned on seeking out the classics and heading further up the traditional sections to take advantage of lower water conditions in the upper gorges. In three weeks – following a brief warm-up on the Trisuli – we ticked off the Modi Khola (whose tight, technical nature made it seem surprisingly full on in places with stacked up drops), Kali Gandaki (a bigger volume cruise through scenic gorges with bigger rapids further up, marred only by the dam backing up the river), Marsyangdi (a powerful medium volume run which never slowed up, we only wished it was longer), Bhote Kosi (true highlight of the trip, down from Tatopani) and the Rapti (mind out for the crocs!) The variety the country offered and the surprises which greeted us around each corner kept us on our toes. On one occasion, a local paddler Maila joined us to explore some of the upper gorges on the Bhote Kosi. After a long day on the water we wondered over to a shack to grab some supplies only to see him clutching what appeared to be a squawking box – that was to be dinner! Washed down with local spirits we slept under the stars, ready to awake to another day on the river.

Buses, tuck tucks, elephants, minuscule cars and tractors helped us move three people and boats around before the journey home, after three weeks in Nepal.

One thing is for certain, we’ll all be back for more quality paddling and copious amounts of tea…

Thanks to Pyranha for all their support and Maila and Chrissy at GRG Kayaking who really went out of their way to make us feel at home in Kathmandu. Aswell as Pete Baars at Summit to Sea for helping us out with the little bits and pieces.