Having had one's fill of Kathmandu's antiquities, lift out of the smog and head for the pristine beauty of the middle hills! Rafting the Trisuli is a fun experience for anybody. It is not a sport as many a non-sporting type has discovered. It's just pure .... fun!
The drive to Charaudi or Fisling, is two hours of joy. The fields stretch in terraces to a series of forested hills and reach finally the white eternity of the snow-clad peaks. And forever a brook, or a stream, finally the Trisuli river dances alongside.
At put-in point, don helmet and lifevest, grab a paddle and climb aboard your inflated rubber dinghy for the craziest ride of your life ! Feel that adrenaline flow as you hang on for dear life, bucking through the foam and spray of 'Upset' and 'Surprise', 'Monsoon' and 'Ladies' Delight' to name but a few of the innumerable rapids one encounters.
Lunch in the shade of an isolated sandy beach off specially prepared picnic fare. Dive in the warm river waters. Then climb aboard once more, floating gently onto the white sparkle of sand at Thaguwatar-on- Trisuli. You have arrived at Brigand's Bend.
The camp at Brigand's Bend sits on a grassy verge atop a cliff facing the beach and a bend in the Trisuli. Accomodation is limited to six large tents and one 2-roomed family tent - under bamboo and thatch roofs, providing guests with comfortable and adequately furnished twin- sharing facilities. A native verandah-ed cottage houses the kitchen and living space, used only on cold, wet days when guests gather around dripping candles to exchange ghost stories! Most time, however, is spent outdoors, sprawled in hammocks, on rugs placed on the grass or about the stone-paved patio, partaking of gourmet delights off the camp barbeque.
And no. One doesn't have to go in the woods! There are real western style toilets, showers and washing facilities complete with running and solar-heated spring water in a carefully concealed building nearby.
The village is a scatter of homes under shady trees, skirting the wide expanse of the tar - a raised shelf above the river. The people are a mixture of hilltribes: Magar, Chepang, Dorai, Chetri and Brahmin; helpful, charming, friendly, discreet, welcoming. A walk through the village or into the thick mixed forest in the hills behind is a rewarding experience. Wild orchids, ferns, begonias and jasmine tangle in mango, bamboo, fig and a host of other trees. Springs tumble out of the hills and a waterfall cascades into a stream.
Springs feed the water supply at Brigand's Bend but there is no electricity. Kerosene-filled lamps, flashlights, occassionally a candle suffice. The accent is on leisure. There are no alarm clocks. Wake when you will. Walk in the swirling mists of the newborn day, swim, breakfast. Then climb aboard your craft once more for another day of excitement on the river.
Beach your boat at Mugling, Simaltar, Gaighat. Bid farewell to your boatswain and drive on .... to Chitwan, or Pokhara, Gorkha or back to Kathmandu.
Rafting packages usually run 2-3 days with an overnight in camp but it is recommended that after a day of rafting, to spend the next exploring the hills. If you feel energetic enough, take a guide and make the 2-hour steep hike to the popular temple of Manakamana where the Goddess is reputed to grant the wishes of her devotees and from where, on clear days, the high Himalaya is visible. Return via Taklung, a pleasant 3-hour detour to return to camp.
And then move on - to Gorkha or Pokhara, Chitwan or Lumbini.
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Copyright © 1997 Brigand's Bend
Most recent revision 20 April, 1997