Heart pounding out of my ears. Muscles completely locked and frozen. Mind racing with uncontrollable thoughts of imminent death. Tears overflowing and streaming down my flushed cheeks.
This is my typical reaction when faced with repelling down anything (literally, anything). I am by no means a rock climber and, in the past, repelling of any sort has provoked an irrational reaction. I freeze up, paralyzed by a fear of death. A mere 10 foot ledge has brought me to tears.
I looked into Bishnu’s eyes for reassurance.
“Go, Claire, go! It’s fine!”
I looked down at my feet, precariously perched on the algae-covered ledge. Water was rushing from the stream above, over my feet, flowing over the ledge and plummeting to the rocks, 15 meters below.
“Trust your rope!”
Claire, you have to do it. It’s fine. You won’t die. You won’t!
Cautiously, I moved my left foot from the safety of the edge and took the first step down the rock face. I gently released the rope in my right hand, allowing myself to descend as my right foot followed suit, taking its first step down and into the waterfall.
I was doing it!
Again, I let some slack into the rope and took a few steps down. Woosh! Water began to pummel my legs, arms and face. I was momentarily taken aback and overcome with an uncomfortable drowning sensation.
Again, Claire, keep going!
What in the world was I doing? I was canyoning! Canyoning is the act of repelling down waterfalls. For someone who previously cringed and curled up into a tiny ball at the thought of repelling, this was no small feat.
Before arriving to Nepal, I had intended to spend the entire month trekking in the Himalayas. I thought I would land in Kathmandu, find a group to trek with and that would be it. I would spend four weeks walking and walking and walking and loving every minute.
Yes, I did go trekking whilst in Nepal. However, I also had the opportunity to do so much more!
Upon being invited by one of the gentlemen I had met in Kathmandu, I reluctantly headed to Royal Beach Camp for a 1-night, 2-day white water rafting excursion.
Immediately upon arriving to Royal Beach Camp, I was blown away. We had been transported from the dirt, grime and total anarchy of the city to a true slice of heaven: Royal Beach Camp, a wonderful resort situated about halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara along the Trisuli River.
Yes, Royal Beach Camp is beautiful. Yes, the food they serve is great. Yes, the activities are super fun and well-run. But what makes Royal Beach Camp so special are the people. These guys know hospitality. Every single person that works at Royal Beach Camp will go out of their way to make you feel welcome, show you a good time and help you with anything and everything that you need. I had originally intended to go there for a single night, but I couldn’t stop coming back for more. In fact, during my stay in Nepal, I returned to The Royal Beach Camp for two additional stays and a total of 7 nights.
The Royal Beach Camp offers a variety of awesome outdoor sports: kayaking, white water rafting, canyoning and trekking. I had the pleasure of participating in white water rafting (see the professional photos of myself flailing below) and canyoning. When you are in Kathmandu, it’s hard to decipher a true difference between all of the resort options. What was particularly awesome about Royal Beach Camp was how individualized our experience was. When I went canyoning, it was just me and three awesome outdoorsmen!