Nepal Adventure — Seti River Rafting

We awoke Monday, October 1 to a stunning view of Fishtail Mountain from our hotel room in Pokhara. We had not seen the mountain during the previous two days as it has been covered by clouds. We had heavy rains overnight and the morning was clear and clean. I ran out to take a few pictures of the mountain, but found it difficult to get a clear shot. I was also distracted by the numerous very large snails out scooting all over the walk ways. They had large spiral shells. Joining them were very large earthworms. Both were much larger than California versions.
After breakfast, we piled back on the bus with all of our luggage. We had all repacked our essential items into our Overseas Adventure Travel bags which we would take with us on the rafting trip. Our OAT bags needed to fit into dry bags which we took with us on the rafts. The rest of our luggage stayed on the bus for two days with the driver and assistant who slept on the bus.

On our way out of town, our driver pulled to the side of the road near an auto repair shop because the bus had developed an oil leak. The mechanic walked across the very busy street, made the diagnosis of a leaky oil filter and the driver’s assistant ran over to a shop to buy oil and a new oil filter. They performed the maintenance right there along the side of the road as we all watched traffic and local pedestrians go by. Quite an interesting and amusing experience!

Along the way we stopped for a restroom break at “The Original Highway Restaurant at Gunadi”. Nepal, Gunadi Rest StopThe restrooms were clean, for squat toilets, and the surrounding gardens were beautiful. In addition we all sampled Nepali ice cream bars. They tasted just like the US version–yum!

Soon we were at the Seti River and met our rafting guides, Hari and Birbal. There were 11 of us including Krishna, our trip leader, so we had two rafts. Our guide, Hari, was an expert oarsman and had many years experience guiding. The rafts were 8 person rafts with a seat and oars at the back of the raft for the guide. Our raft had five fellow travelers (Pete, Nancy, Leslie, Kathy and Lindsey), Hari in the oarsman’s seat and two assistant guides up front.

Hari gave us some basic safety instruction, explained the commands he would use to direct us in paddling and we were off. The Seti River is very broad in most places, and very swift moving. Nepal-HariMost of the time was calm floating, but we had a few very fun rapids. Hari would say “forward paddle please” and we would all try to keep tempo paddling with the two assistant guides up front. Truth be told, they did most of the work. We were so busy laughing and screaming with delight we were pretty ineffective. We had an absolute ball! In addition, Hari sang to us in Nepali. He has a beautiful voice and the melodies were delightful. When he wasn’t singing to us he was pointing out birds and other points of interest.

After a stop for lunch at a small beach, we floated a bit more down river to the Seti River Camp. What a picturesque camp. Nepal Seti River Tent InteriorEach of us had a large tent under a slate roofed cover. There were two twin beds in each tent with crisp white sheets and lovely hand made cotton comforters. The tents had zip screens front and back. Each tent had a bathroom/shower structure at the back of it. We just had to unzip the back screen and step into our luxurious bathroom and shower. The floor was slate and we had plenty of hot water and flush toilets! What luxury! Nepal, Seti River Tent ViewOut front we had two chairs to enjoy the view of the river.

We all gathered around the fire pit for happy hour. There was always cold beer, wine, juice and soda for us to choose from. Soon the kitchen crew brought out popcorn and French fries. We all sat around swapping rafting stories. As it got dark, we joked about a fire it the fire pit, in spite of the fact it was quite hot and humid (we were all in shorts), so we just put our flash lights in the fire pit to simulate the flames.

Of course since we had mentioned a fire, we were surprised the next evening when a fire was built for us to enjoy! In spite of the heat, it was really pleasant to sit around the fire laughing, talking and having a drink. Throughout the trip, any time we made a comment or expressed a desire for something, Krishna made it happen. I can’t say enough about how great the service by all the staff was!

After dinner, which was tasty as usual, we headed for bed. As I mentioned, the weather was very warm and humid, so we left our tent flap tied back and enjoyed the night air circulating though the tent through the netting. The sound of the river, the birds (and other creatures) was so relaxing. I think I slept the best at the River camp. In the morning the staff came to every one’s tent to serve us coffee and tea as we were getting up.

The second day at the River camp we went for a trek to a number of local villages. Nepal, Seti River VillageWe walked a trail following the Seti River upstream. As usual, we were joined by children walking to school. They were always happy and curious and we enjoyed the interaction with them. Hari led the trek and all the while was telling us about the local flora and fauna. His knowledge of the area was amazing. Hari was born in a village in the general area (within 70 or 80 kilometers), so he has first hand knowledge of the area. He explained the medicinal uses of many of the plants we saw.

After our return to the river camp, lunch and some free time, we were treated to a cooking lesson by the camp cook. Nepal, Seti River making momoWe learned to make chicken and vegetable momo and vegetable tempura. We all took notes as Krishna translated ingredients and amounts from the cook. Then the fun started as we all got to try our had at making a momo. They are dumplings that somewhat resemble round potstickers with numerous little pleats at the top — when made by experts. Ours were somewhat irregularly shaped, but tasted marvelous when we sampled them at happy hour later in the day! We had a great time trying to fashion the little pouches of dough. The kitchen staff got a good laugh at our efforts too!

The next morning we all packed up our belongings, boarded the rafts and said goodbye to Seti River Camp. Many of us could have easily spent a few more days in camp. It as a lovely and relaxing site. We floated down the Seti and enjoyed some rougher class 2 and 3 white water. Again, we were paddling, laughing and screaming all at once. What a blast!

Created with flickr slideshow.
Finally, at our take out point we said goodbye to our river guides and boarded our bus. The next part of our adventure would continue at Chitwan National Park where the jungle meets the Rapti River. Highlights will include a nature walk and elephant trek, so stay tuned for our next installment. This portion of our trip was unlike any of the rest!

Links to the other Nepal articles:
Almost to Nepal
Namaste from Nepal
Nepal Wine Trekking
Seti River Rafting
Royal Chitwan National Park


  1. Pingback: Nepal Adventure – Royal Chitwan National Park | Pull That Cork

  2. Yep, it now takes contact lenses and glasses so that I can read. I give up! The squattie potties were amazingly clean I have to say. As long as you bring your own paper, it’s OK! Glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. OMG! Wonderful pictures! Yet, I struck by seeing Nancy in glasses. LOL
    Looks like you both had a terrific time and I really enjoyed your commentary.
    (Aren’t “squattie potties” great? LOL)