Ever imagined rafting in icy cold weather? Where, when the water hits you, it hits right to your bones…

It was that very cold day in Kathmandu, March 11, 2017, a day before Holi, and everybody was so worried that this Holi was going to be a cold and windy one. I and a bunch of my friends decided to go rafting. Seems crazy doesn’t it? But at that time, we were all filled with adrenaline, and went forward with the plan. Rumors of a strike (bandh) and early morning rain hit us at 5:30 in the morning, and our group chat was flooded with messages as we were debating whether or not to go. Everything was planned, all the reservations required was done. Our van, which we had reserved a day earlier,was ready to pick us up, and at about 6:30, we finally made certain that we would be going rafting.

After a lot of chaos, miscommunication, and a little bit of drama, it was 8:00 a.m. when the 16 of us finally came together and headed towards SukuteBeach Resort, which is about 69 kilometers east of Kathmandu. It took us 2 hours 15 minutes, approximately, to get there. The journey was amazing—winding roads, chilly weather, amazing friends, and good music playing throughout the ride—everything seemedperfect, until we reached the resort. As we stepped out of our van, the cold wind hit us so hard that many of us started questioning whether or not to carry on with this adventure. Hoping and praying that the sun would shine, we all finally committed to doing it. We changed, put on our life jackets and helmets, and with paddles in our hands, we boarded a bus which led us to our starting point of the rafting journey.

A few kilometers away from the main resort, we reached the starting point. Shivering and whining, we paid attention to our guide as he briefed us and trained us on paddling and safety precautions. We were divided into two teams of eight, and were assigned two rafts with one guide each. Then we stared paddling and moving forward. It was scary being seated at the edge of the raft, but I got used to it after a few strokes. A few moments later, we came across our first rapid; we got through it, but the splashing water was so cold that for a split second it felt like an electric current was circulating in my body.

We then conquered every venture that came in our way. Going through the rushing white waters to passing massive rocks, we ruled the river. We screeched so loud when the cold water came on to us, we looked at each other after the rapid was over, and laughed so hard. We did this after every rapid. In all this, somehow we ended getting targeted by others. People in other rafts splashed us with that icy cold water, only us! And we don’t know why.

The expedition was soon to get over, we were about to reach the finishing point, and suddenly, we see a huge rock. It was about 20 feet high, and our guide tells us that this is where we can climb to the top and jump down into the river. I was very scared, but it seemed like a daring thing to do. So I got up the rock with my friends. Still shivering, I waited for my turn, I could see others jumping into the river one by one. It was my turn now, and I got up to the front, looked down, and my heart just sank. I am extremely terrified with the fear of drowning. It has always been my phobia, and now suddenly I am on top of this rock ready to jump into that cold water. I couldn’t move for a couple of seconds. My friends started boosting my confidence from the back. They started cheering for me. So, I took that leap of faith and found myself splashing into the river, and honestly, it felt amazing.

We then got on to our rafts and headed towards the resort. We didn’t realize how hungry we were until we got to there. As we were heading towards the changing rooms, we all got into the swimming pool. The water in the pool was so warm, it felt good after that shivering experience. We were famished, so we got out of the pool, changed quickly, and headed towards the restaurant to have our buffet lunch.

As we were about to get our plates filled with food, a staff member comes by and asks us to stop! He says that more food is being prepared, and we have to stop. Personally, it didn’t make sense to me. Even though we were furious, we stopped taking food and waited, and waited, and waited. It was now about 45 minutes that we weren’t able to get food. So, I decided to voice my opinion and demanded food. Well, when you’re “Hangry” (hungry and angry), you don’t see anything else. We finally filled our tummies with lots of food and headed back.

This rafting experience was a great one. I enjoyed a lot with my friends and will always remember this trip. The shivering moments were the best moments.