14 April 2012, Rafting on the Trishuli, Nepal

White Water Rafting Trishuli River Nepal

After our 6 day trek and small respite in Kathmandu, we decided to to travel to Chitwan National Park by way of an overnight river rafting on the Trishuli. We organised the Rafting and Chitwan trip through .Rajan and Earthbound Expeditions. Rajan organised for a guide to collect us from our hotel in the morning and take us to the correct bus.

The Trishuli river (meaning 'The Classic River') originates in Tibet and flows through Nepal joining the Narayani River. The launch point for our rafting is located around 4 hours west of Kathmandu. When we arrive it is at a rest stop with a long building that houses some of companies that run the tours. We are quickly broken up into tour groups, hand over our luggage to be driven downstream to where we will be camping, and gather our equipment.
The Trishuli is able to be rafted all year round and companies offer 1-3 day trips. Rafting is commonly graded as:
September - December (4)
January - May (4-)
June - August (4+)
As we were there in April, the river was a little low and I would have thought that at best it was a level 3. Although apparently in August the river can be a raging torrent of water that only the most skilful should attempt.
We are given a briefing by our guides on how to paddle, how to steer, what to do if we get into trouble, and quickly set off on the river. Our raft was loaded with our small group plus around 5 more who were joining us for the day including a young boy who was the nephew of one of the guides.
It is a generally placid flow, with some beautiful stretches of scenery to view as you drift followed by some excellent, if sparse, rapids. Our guide was excellent in informing us of what rapids were coming up and how we would approach them. Early on though he did deliberately capsize the raft giving us all a nice dip. The capsize took place on an isolated rapid and allowed us a brief swim with very little chance of harm.
For the most part the rapids were mild with a small amount of chop giving a some lift and dips, forcing us to dig our oars in hard to keep control.
We stopped off at a small village on the side of the highway for lunch and to say farewell to our temporary companions. An hour later we hit the river once more and went on our way to our camp.
A little after lunch there were a series of rapids called the Tiger that were a little more complex than the others and our guide misjudged our ability to keep control of the raft and maintain our balance with the reduced crew. As we were capsizing I realised that the specific tilt was going to throw me into Rina and as such I pushed myself off and away, going head first into the rapid. In the water I could see bright coloured life-vests fading into the river. When I attempted to surface I found myself under the raft unable to tell which direction was out. A quick breath in the air pocket, I gripped one of the ropes and pulled myself then grabbed another and pulled myself free from the raft. Once I broke surface it took a few moments to orient myself. Once I did I moved to assist Rina who was a little shaken up from the capsize and being assisted by Charlie. Further downstream, I could see our raft with the guide and Pots paddling furiously to get to a position that we could all climb back in.
Once we were settled back in the raft it was a gentle drift the remainder of the way with a stop off for some rock jumping and a shower in a fresh stream.
Our accommodations were on the side of the river in simple tents. The site was under development and we could see the foundations of will become luxury huts for future travellers. That evening we relaxed around a small fire, ate and talked. It was an excellent end to the day.
The following day was mostly a relaxing drift down the river with some small but enjoyable rapids.
At the end of our trip we pulled the raft out of the water before our guide took us up to the highway to catch the bus to Chitwan.

River Rafting the Trishuli, Nepal

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