WHEEEEEEEE!!!

So the massage was possibly the most awkward hour of my life. I rediscovered old bruises and made some new ones too at the hands of a 60 year old Tibetan lady whilst listening to pan pipes and wailing monks. It was ok when I lay on my front because I could grimace all I liked and she couldn’t see, but when in rolled over I didn’t know what to do, especially when the music took a turn for the worse I ended up giggling like an idiot. Also, where the hell do you look? Something in me says that you shouldn’t make eye contact with the masseuse but equally, what else do you do? I opted to count the spiders on the ceiling instead. It was such a Mark Corrigan moment, my inner monologue was going nuts.

After the awkward massage I headed over for lunch, and got chatting to Giles and a guy called Ed who was from NYC and had cycled through Tibet, taking in Everest Base Camp along the way. They both had some pretty interesting stories to tell so we hung out for about 6 hours chatting about everything from trekking to 911 conspiracy theories. The kids Giles was “supervising” were quite funny to observe; highly privileged as they are all kids of high fliers living in Singapore for the massive companies there, and really quite naive too, which is to be expected. So we basically didn’t move after lunch, and then it was dinner time so we chatted for a few more hours until about 10.30 when I really needed to get some sleep.

The tent was not bad, the bed was pretty hard, but at least it wasn’t too hot. I had a couple of unpleasant arachnid encounters but I was too tired to battle for long so I gave up and went to sleep after chasing them outside. Then in the morning I got up and went over for breakfast, where one of the crew convinced me to do the canyon swing instead of the bungee and I’m so glad I took his advice.

The bungee is cool and everything but you can bungee jump anywhere, they even have cranes at carnivals, whereas the canyon swing is rarer and you actually get to see the gorge as you hurtle through it. Also, you get nearly twice as much freefall which makes it totally worth it. I was petrified up on the bridge, watching everyone else go first, and convinced myself I wouldn’t be able to do it, but when the time came I told myself that if the rich kids could do it, so could I. The hardest part was taking those couple of steps towards the edge- the rope is pulling you forwards and the guy behind you is holding the harness so you’re safe but it’s still terrifying! After a bit of hesitation, I shuffled forwards and looked down, thought “holy fuck” about 100 times and then involuntarily stepped forwards.

The feeling was indescribable. You fly 100m through the air, towards the raging river below, until you reach the end of the rope, flailing wildly the entire time. Then you swing sideways for 240m at about 150kmph until you run out of momentum, and then you have to grab the rope to pull yourself to the ladder at the riverbank. This part and the walk back up the gorge was probably the hardest part of the whole experience because my knees were still shaking and the adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and I just wished I had my camera to take pictures of the view. It was a long walk back, and I stopped at every waterfall to cool myself down and take in the scenery.

In the afternoon we all converged at lunch to watch our videos, which I couldn’t not buy. All in all, the whole 2 days including food, drink, transport, video, jump etc etc has cost less than £100 which I think is actually a pretty good deal. A few years ago at a festival in Germany they were charging €120 to jump off a crane, so I reckon I got a bargain. I just hope the road is clear for the drive back to Kathmandu!

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