The word Rafting and Kayaking gives out a very enthralling and adrenaline feeling defining exuberance and exhilaration to the level. Every year thousands of adventure tourists visit our country in search of wilderness in a profound way. Though, being very popular and highly appreciated sports for Nepal’s rivers, the sports of rafting and kayaking are still struggling to establish its scope and prospect in Nepal. Like such, being a reporter and prioritizing such a profession of journalism, I had never thought of experiencing it to the level of my wildest dream. The job preference of reporting that I was addressed marked it to be my life’s most memorable moment framed in endless seconds of my memory. I was invited by Nepal Association of Rafting Agents (NARA) to cover the 6th White Water Challenge held from Novembers 17-19, 2007, at the Bhote Koshi River. The event was exclusive as it invited international level kayakers and rafting teams to compete against the local counter parts. Bhote Koshi is a beautiful mountain river originated from Bhote which in native language is known as “River from Tibet”. The river is divided into three sections upon its complex drops and rapids namely upper, middle and lowers. The journey started from sorahhakhutte from where we took a bus ride to the venue of Sukute. The bus was packed with foreigners with a limited number of native people who were spared to stand. Although, the roads were malfunctioning but the journey seemed extravagant through villages and cliffs. Additionally, if your luck favors you with an appropriate climate, you can see the fabulous mountain range of Pabil, Langtang and Gauri Shanker. The journey was about 5 hrs, after which we reached the Sukute resort. The resort totally frightened me as I had never camped outside in wilderness on a beach. The resort was fully accommodated with modern facilities, from a restaurant to a play house and other necessaries of daily amenities. At first, I hesitated but the essence of nature magnetized me to its sandy and stony bank to camp outside. Possibly, being in a creative field, the Bhote Koshi caught my eyes with its first glance. Its deep green watery color magnetized me with a timeless essence of mystical and magical wonderland. It was just timeless captivating people’s attention by its bliss of everlasting flow and synchronizing to voice out music to the ears. Simplifying my thinking, the waves made me think the river as a lady with its waves forming twist and curve on the rapid who welcomed everyone with its abstract language. For people who were devoured with its magic speechlessly watched it pass by thinking it as an audacious and vibrant color of nature. On the first day of the challenge, the organizers took us to a further place where civilization was far bordered on cliffs and hills. The race started with the enthusiasm among the player to inspire and attract the judges for scoring more points. After seeking the kayaker’s twists and turns, it literally made me feel the rush of the sport. Moreover the spectators watch was more discrete to feel the adrenalin rush mounting upon the river bed standing more than 2 stores high and witnessing the watch staking a fall. The Boulder gardens, small waterfalls, steep chutes and vertical bends were just some of the obstacles to be overcome. The first and second day was a bit eccentric and absurd but the night party literally grasped the rhythm with its pace of dancing numbers. On the last day, we were granted permission of wearing the rafting cap and life jacket. Audaciously thinking bitter of the incident of people falling and breaking their nose and teeth, just roomed in blocking the vision creating a confusion of ideology and reality. At a point the exhilaration kicked in and we all set off to face the nature’s wilderness impression of engulfing pitch. We had a group of more than 20 people from media who were then divide into three groups and were allocated in the three rafts. The only thing we were advice was to listen to the main rafter’s command. We were then explained of time, situation and reaction in case of a fall in the plumping water pool. After the briefing of safety measures and commands, we set out to concur our fears. At first, the raft just stilled with no point of movement, then the main rafter shouted and we started paddling. Within second, we were facing the nature’s sharpest edge where the human brain rushes to give an additional feeling of exhilaration and adrenaline. The sense of spectra then clicked me when I wobbled with a hard hitting wave which splashed me with its cold blow of freshness. Moreover, passing by the big rapids and facing waves arouse the sense of emancipation where fear and excitement melted to the sound of the main rafter’s command. After a long series of small rapid, we came across the grade III rapid, which is considered to be one of the skillful creations of nature’s magnificence. We assorted to face the challenge with a strong determination roaring out but in reality when we came across the rapid, we all grouped and pulled it to form a ball escaping the huge ball of icy cold water which attacked us. From there, then came a long technical rapid which settled down for about twenty feet forming a soup following a long series of rapid and drops which lead us to a nifty little rapid. The remaining river was a nonstop series of small drops of short pools. Shivering and complaining, your body makes you feel why did you even though about this? But the excitement of achievement focuses toward highlighting your drive to do more and to seek more. Nevertheless, the river flows through a beautiful narrow canyons with lush green vegetation and waterfalls coming in from the steep stone walls giving no word to describe the beauty and for an instance it made me think the reality of foreigners coming to Nepal and spending thousands of dollars. At the end of the session there came a point where the water flows within the safe zone where the rafter asked us for a dip and immediately I raised my hand, as the excitement to feel the Bhote Koshi was overwhelming. The experience was simply chilling, as when I dived in, it was okay but when they pulled me in the raft. I could feel the nature running through my spine and over my body amortizing me with a new energy After completing the track, we settling in the bank of the Sukute resort where we dragged the raft which further exhausted us. Practically talking real about rafting, it is a sport of exhilaration which required immense courage and energy. The only thing that I would advise you is please listen to the main rafter and leave the rest to your energy to paddle along the rhythm following the flow of water and you would then feel the reality. No matter what the thrills are? To seek beyond once fear is something which amortizes the reality showcasing a new sense of nirvana. Rafting in Bhote Koshi was an experience of life time and perhaps a different angle to enjoy the beauty of nature at its widest form.
By Shreedeep Rayamajhi