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4/18 Mike In Nepal – ABSEILING?

By guest contributor –  Michael Restivo –  Author and Photographer – 4/18  “Mike In Nepal”

Mike in Nepal - temporary home

Namaste everyone!  I’ve officially been here three months, and everything is starting to wind down. The kids have been on break from school so I haven’t gotten to see them but I’ve been filling up my time with some other great experiences. I have about less than a month to go until I hit the trail for Mt. Everest and getting anxious and excited.

I decided to try my hand at canyoning.  As I said in my last post, canyoning is a relatively new sport involving abseiling, swimming, climbing, and jumping through what could only be described as a natural obstacle course. I headed back to Pokhara which was a nice change from the quietness of Chitwan and got to have a good hot shower and good food. After an initial anxiety about finding a trip I eventually found a group and made my way to the Royal Beach Resort. The resort is a collection of tiki huts and tents on the beach and my “room” was nothing more than a tiki hut maybe 5 by 6 feet with two mats and sleeping bags. It really does not get any more basic than that. I signed up to do a combo of whitewater rafting and canyoning. The whitewater rafting was down the Khosi river and was much more intense than the trip I took before. We started with a few simple rapids and than headed for sheer drops where we had to barricade ourselves in the boat while the entire boat flooded with cold, cold water. After the thrilling whitewater we headed back to the resort for relaxation and nestled in between the mountains and the rapids right in front of us.  It was remarkably peaceful.

Mike in Nepal - white water rafting

We woke up early the next day and headed out to the waterfalls to start our course. The trail up to the waterfalls was high and extremely narrow. We passed through a fog shrouded valley of terraced rice paddies and sheer rock walls.  It didn’t offer any room for walking let alone screwing around. The final push up the trail involved us literally climbing on our hands and knees and grasping branches, hoping they held long enough so we didn’t slip on moss and plunge into the valley below.

After getting to a point above the waterfall we had to make our way via fixed ropes to the starting point below. This involved careful foot placement, hand eye coordination, prayers, and some cursing. We roped down into a knee deep stream of cold water while our guides attached the ropes.

mike in nepal - roping down to waterfall site

Since I was the first one up, my guides strapped me in and I slowly started to walk backwards watching the point where the water drops off the cliff and hearing the roar below. There is a certain feeling when you feel the ground literally drop from under your feet, and I suddenly found myself nearly 90 degrees to the waterfall one hand on the rope and one hand on the brake behind my back. The first part seemed easy: keep my legs open, straddle the waterfall and drop down into the lake below, but as I kept coming down I realized there was a spot where the rock ends and the waterfall continues down, and suddenly I lost my footing completely and flew headfirst into the waterfall roaring down on top of me. Trying to hear my guides yelling at me, I kicked my legs back and forth like an invisible swing and eventually found my footing on a rock no wider than one and a half feet. Wet and slightly shaken I lowered myself down, unhooked my rope and swam to the beach.

Mike in Nepal - waterfall decent

After drying off we hit the next part, a natural water slide and another lake. Sit, cross my arms, and fly off with a refreshing splash. Hitting the next beach we had another much smaller waterfall to climb down. With the experience of the first, coming down was a breeze and we took a final jump into a big pool before making our trail back to the camp.

I made my way back to Chitwan and found we have some new volunteers, two doctors from Arizona working the medical post and a girl from Iowa working in the orphanage. We’ve officially “Americanized” the Library House.

That’s all for now, time to wind down, and get ready for the big one…Everest.

Namaste everyone!  Michael Restivo – Guest Contributor for

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