Pokhara Canyoning Lwang Ghalel - FINAL EPISODE, LOCKDOWN SERIES
Are you familiar with this viral tiktok trend of the moment? Welcome to Pokhara canyoning. Our next stop after saying goodbye to Tangting was Pokhara. We had talked with brother Ram Gurung.
He invited us to his venture Pokhara canyoning located in Ghalel village. Like Kori, this was also a long pending invite. Ram had extended his invitation almost 1.5 years ago after we had returned from our Kahpuche trek. In Pokhara, we unloaded ourselves at Cocobeach owned by friend Jiban in Pame.
Once again, welcome to the new episode of Ghumante. We have just arrived in Cocobeach from Tangting. We thank Purna brother here who drove us safely and with skills upto here. If anybody has to go to Tangting, they can contact you right? Yes. We will give his info in description. Please contact him if you want to visit Tangting after lockdown.
Jiban had just recently started Kausighar resort next to Cocobeach where we would be staying. Cocobeach is a fun concept where the lakeside of Fewa is given a sea shore treatment. It was still hot in Pokhara.
The breeze from the lake soothed us in the monsoon heat. We were lavished with one after another delicious dish for which Cocobeach is famous. It was a splurge for us after spending over a month in remote area. Some were our own choices while some were chef's specials. Maybe we could have created 3-4 food vlogs on that night alone. Jiban had been acting suspiciously ever since Tangting. He had these secret phone calls. Even here, he would vanish suspiciously from time to time when his phone rang.
When we went down after finishing dinner, we realized what the conspiracy was all about. In front of the billiard table, there was something we hadn't expected at all. We were delighted and emotional.
This was a wonderful surprise. Hadn't expected although we heard cake a few times. But for us and so realistic with our logo. As I look at our logo, I have to remember one person at first.
Saurav Koirala who designed our logo. This is his creation. And the entire team. As we have come here from zero, there has been support, blood, sweat, love of so many people. All of you have made us arrive at this stage. We are not here because one video went viral or because of a fluke.
If this success is a house, all of us have worked together to add every brick to this house. Chok had become our 100000th subscriber on the night we were to leave Tangting. Apparently, Jiban had hatched this plan right then. We had an awesome night. Now, we will wait for Ram's vehicle after breakfast.
It should be here in the afternoon from Ghalel. And then we'll see you guys in Ghalel. Cocobeach was still shut down due to Corona. So a lot of repair maintenance was ongoing. We had our breakfast overlooking the waters of Fewa.
We enjoyed breakfast and lunch both by the lake. Our jeep finally arrived and we headed towards Ghalel. We've briefly stopped at Milan Chok of Hemja as we and our brother here has to buy some essential supplies. It's late anyhow so we decided to have tea as well. Ghalel is about an hour away. We resumed our journey after brief break in Milanchok, Hemja.
We entered Machhapuchhre municipality via Drinking Water intake. This intake is the main source of water for Pokhara valley. We then crossed Bhedabari, Idi river, Khoramukh, Nayapul, Thati and Lumre. On either side of the roads were green paddy fields. Seasonal and perennial waterfalls flowed down the hills. The drive was very scenic.
There was a small stretch of off-road just before Pokhara Canyoning. Pau river had swollen due to monsoon. Our driver hesitated slightly before plunging the jeep into the river. Once we traversed the river, a cruved steep section of road full of stones greeted us. 4 wheel drive had to be engaged.
But thankfully it was not long and we arrived Pokhara canyoning shortly. Finally, we have arrived at Pokhara Canyoning. We were spending the night at the Waterfall Retreat of Pokhara Canyoning. Ram dai has just started this for people who wanted to spend a night besides canyoning. Amar served us black coffee and gurjo (herb) juice promptly upon our arrival. "medicine for corona?" "yes." "at least for now."
"many thanks." "corona medicine guys." "People are looking everywhere for corona remedy when it's right here in Pokhara." "I want some corona medicine as well." It started raining heavily. The waterfall in front of us roared in all its majesty.
It was heavenly to sip piping hot coffee in the chills of rain and the waterfall. Humans have always been fascinated by water bodies. And on top of that, this waterfall was very pretty. Even without canyoning, our heart was already full. Ram also arrived from Pokhara in the evening. Pokhara canyoning was still closed due to corona and lockdown.
Ram had called back all the staff to re-open for us just as we had left Tangting. We had a long chat with Ram that evening about corona and current situation. Good morning from Pokhara canyoning. A new day, a new adventure awaits us. We are about to begin.
2-3 canyoning staff went to check the pool below the waterfall. Some started fixing ropes and checking for safety situation. After everything was greenlighted, we geared up in body suit and harness. As a final prep, manager Rajesh Gurung gave us safety briefing and basic rope tutorial required for canyoning.
These preps made us feel safe and more confident. The Kudi waterfall is 120 m long. There are two grades of canyoning performed here. Basic and advanced. We were doing the basic one which was done only in the lower section of the fall.
The lower section is 45 m long while the upper one is 75 m. "Anybody scared?" "He's the one. I'm relaxed." "Very scared but also so want to do it." "Are you saying 'my lord' "? "(mimic) my lord so scary so scary."
"everybody ready?" "Yes. Because there's ghumante before fear." "So anyone has anything to say before doing this? Kanchan bro?" "I love you everyone. Whoever loves me, I also love you so much." "Jiban bro anything?" "This heat has been too much. So it'll be fun to drench in this cool waterfall."
"Do this twice as far as possible." "Come on boys let's do it. Woohoo." Finally we're here. Ready for action. I wasn't afraid a while back. But now a little fear has crept in.
The problem is one cannot heed nature's call in this suit. I'm feeling some bladder pressure already. Since it was rainy season, the waterfall was big. It didn't look so big from down below but as we climbed higher up, it felt scary looking down at the stream. "What's up bro? How you feeling?" "Oh don't ask. "Like they were saying, it's in the very beginning before you even start that you feel when this will end."
"So guys, how about you?" "So exciting. Specially in the bottom, the water hits you with such force. and the pressure is bit high in your hands as you clutch at the rope. But for one time, this is a must-do thing." "It takes a lot of energy right?" "Yes." "I'm already hungry." "Me too. It's only 1." "One's heart is not only to live. It is also to do such great adventures. So make your heart strong and try these things once in a while."
"A very intense experience. It is not as easy as it seems from over here. But it's also not that hard. In some places, you might slip a little if you become nervous." "Yes. Remain calm."
"In that section, it is hard to even breathe for a few seconds." "And don't look up whatever you do. I didn't intend to but I slipped and the water hit me so hard." "Overall it was a wonderful experience." "Yes. We recommend that you do at least once. Before you become old."
We explored and demonstrated this site in February 2014. Because we thought that canyoning can be one way to promote Lwang Ghalel. Since we found no one willing to run it, I myself started this. Looking back, I'm satisfied with how it's come along. And once obscure Lwang Ghalel is getting recognition through this. Everybody now knows Lwang Ghalel has canyoning.
In the very start, it was like a festival for 2 days during exploration and demonstration. Nepal Canyoning Association people came and explored it. TAAN, ACAP, then Annapurna VDC- everybody came to support this. After that Rajesh Lama made it possible to connect with the founder of American Canyoning Association -Rich Carlson. I told him that I would treat him to lunch in my village which I did in Siding. This canyoning spot was on the way to lunch site and so I showed him this.
And I asked him if his organization could provide any training to locals. He said that he only had 5 days to spare and he said it's not enough time to learn much. I insisted that even 5 days would be blessing for us. But we got to train for 10 days as their Bhotekoshi plan got cancelled.
After 10 days, we produced some guides. He also gave us some equipment. All our canyoning guides are locals. There are now 10 in total. Since there are no authorized canyoning training or licensing center in Nepal, our guides got trained through the American Canyoning Association. Till now, kids as young as 7 to elderly of 65 years has done canyoning here. We do not recommend this to people with heart disease, blood pressure conditions. The water continuously hits us improving our blood circulation. Sort of like a massage.
So one can say this is a "water healing spot." The geography of our country Nepal comprises of mountains, hills and then the flatlands. As the water from mountain melts, it comes down to the hills and rolls off to the plains. So there are so many waterfalls. If we can explore these numerous waterfalls, we can be known as the country of canyoning too. We spent another night at Waterfall Retreat. Everybody had a new energy. With this, it's time for us to say bye to Pokhara Canyoning and Ghalel.
Pokhara is not that far from here. We returned to Pokhara the next day. Corona cases had risen drastically nationwide. Kathmandu was at the center. Contraty to our thinking, Government was mulling opening everything up. It was the 34th day since we had left home. We got invitation for lunch from the newly opened Bar Peepal resort in Pokhara through Jiban.
The food and the hospitality of this place was a soothing balm for our exhausted bodies. We officially wrapped up our difficult yet exhilarating trip of Lamjung and Kaski with leisurely dip at the resort's infinity pool. We want to thank all who opened their doors for us even during lockdown.
Ram dai, friend Jiban, Bhupal dai and Maila dai. Pokhara canyoning is a adventure activity one must do at least once. It is a very safe venture due to the efficient management and competent staff. Maybe your legs will shake, heart beat escalate but the thrill you feel once you do this cannot be described in words.
It's challenging and scary. But that's precisely what makes it worth your time. Next time you are in Pokhara, do make time for Pokhara canyoning just an hour's drive away. Our 7 days trip lengthened into a month. In this long journey, we got chance to meet so many good people. Each and everyone of them opened their hearts to us.
They sheltered us even in the peak scare of corona. We are so so grateful for that. Lot of thanks also to dear Yangzom sister who believed in our mission and supported us in that difficult situation. Thanks to her and everybody else who worked to ease our difficulty in that circumstance.