Herts Canoe Club Multi-River Expedition – Adrenaline Rush
Written by Darren Fergus
Getting lost leaving Tom and Jerry’s bar and not finding the Hotel Tradition kind of gave us a clue that we would struggle to find our way out of Kathmandu, let alone bump along a dirt track to the put in on one of the many rivers we paddled. AdventureX guided us along a path that snaked its way around some cool rivers that raised our game. There is no way we could have done this unsupported. To rock on the water in Nepal we needed some like minded people to do all of the stuff that makes things happen…
…As a team of mixed ability paddlers we worked out the recipe for an adrenaline rush in Nepal. Split into two groups supported by our river guides. Next take these two groups of white water junkies and push them through huge wave trains. Wave trains with faces like the buckets on bulldozers, except every now and then these bulldozers step on the gas and surge forward at you. Awesome! But this is just the start, because around the bend you sense there’s more to follow when we scout a rapid named Upset. The journal entry for this reads, ‘Upset on Upset Rapid’.
We scouted on river right and Ben and Jo point out the line, which is to miss two big holes and go river centre then right of centre; breaking out in the pool at the bottom on river right. Sounds straight forward, right? As Ryan (cameraman) sits smugly on a boulder, six of us walk like astronauts on a mission back to our kayaks and go through our personal routines. You know the kind of stuff, sponge your kayak dry or lift it up to shake out those last few drops of the wet stuff. Like this is going to really help you here. We’re all good to go. I hit the centre line and before you can give it fish tourettes I’m through. Happy days, however Upset has other ideas. Why else would she make her holes big enough to swallow a Tata bus?
The newly named Verticoils come next and the mother of all holes decides to suck on them like they’re boiled sweets in a kid’s mouth. If you can’t physically keep hold of your paddle or physiologically stay underwater like a Trisuli trout there’s only one way out. Upset on Upset rapid happens when a well known non-swimmer takes a plunge. If you’ve been sucked like a boiled sweet it’s kind of okay to feel ‘humbug’. Said person smiled (eventually) and came out with something sweet, ‘Now I know what adrenaline smells like!’ It’s carnage all round, the raft goes down for more than a few seconds, the second group have a swim and we’ve got kit floating down to the second rapid like flotsam. It’s all in a days work for our professional boaters and we’re soon safely on our way to the next surprise. Surprise rapid. Another opportunity for our sadistic cameraman to film ‘carnage’, or as I like to think of it, another adrenaline rush. Rock on…
…If you’ve ever sat on top of a Tata bus speeding down a mountain road with the wind whistling through your hair, looking down on a jade green river, you’ll feel a piece of Nepal curse through your veins right now. Your mind will race back to the time when you put in on a river that was simply awesome and made you fire those guns with all your strength in an uneven battle with nature herself. Adrenaline pumping hard through every vein in your body; this was living life to the full. That’s what we did in Nepal, live life to the full. We were living the dream!