Thrills in the air

I have traveled to several places and have done loads of things in my life. But this one was the most extreme thing I have ever experienced in my life so far. It was the ultimate thrill and the best experience. I would definitely recommend all to do both Zipline and Bungy when they are in Pokhara. Don’t miss the thrills in the air!

— By Rajiv Joshi

On my recent trip to Pokhara, the adventure capital of Nepal, the only objective was to try some new activities it has to offer. Though I have explored every aspect of Pokhara in my countless trips to the lake city, I was still to experience the adventure tourism activities that Pokhara offers.
My initial plan was to do paragliding and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Pokhara on board the ultralight flight. Zipline and Bungy jump was not on my bucket list. But I had to change the plan as Ms. Shiney Khetan, the executive director of Highground Adventures Nepal, the operator of both the activities, asked me to try these new adventures and made all the arrangements while I was on my way to Pokhara. When I reached their office to get the details, I was thinking of doing the Zipline only.
Bungy Jump! These two words can bring chills down the spine of anyone. I felt the same when I was first offered the opportunity to try it along with the Zipline.
I had never dared or dreamt of doing Bungy. But I was persuaded by Mr. Abhinav Churiwal of Highground Adventures to enjoy the jump without any fear. Reluctantly, I booked the combo. I was told to report at their office early the next morning.

Tip of Mt. Machapuchhre, as seen from my room.

 

With some mixed feelings, I reached the office on time. I was greeted by the staff and told to wait for a while as they were awaiting other clients to arrive. It rained the whole night, and the morning was cloudy. Despite this, I got a chance to see the tip of Machapuchhre from my hotel room briefly. I was a little bit worried about the weather condition, and on top of that, the nervousness was killing me.
Two groups of people from different countries arrived after some time, and we were soon onboard the bus that took us to Sarangkot, passing through the twists and turns up to the zipline station. I was disappointed to see the mountains covered by clouds.

The starting point of Zipline

The crew welcomed us all and gave some tips and briefed us about the safety procedures. The Zipline in Pokhara is 1,800 meters long and has a vertical drop of 600 meters. It starts from the top of Sarangkot hill and slides down to a maximum speed of up to 120 km per hour to the landing site at Hemja. The Zipline is the longest, steepest, and fastest Zipline in the whole world, according to the company.

Ready to ride

After a test ride was made, we were informed to get ready. I was the first one to be called along with an Asian girl. We went up the ramp, hung and harnessed in our racks, and stretched our feet on the metal gates that were closed until the start of the ride. After some last-minute safety instructions by the crew, the countdown began, the gates opened, and the Zipline launched down the cliff at an extreme speed. The initial fly down was a bit nerve-wracking. The creaking sound of the pulley hooked in the cable was adding to the thrill. Blazing wind hitting my face speeding down with some shakes in between made it the ride of a lifetime.

Fellow travelers are taking the adventure

 

Flying down, I could see the other side of Pokhara city open before me beneath the cloud, showing the stunning view of the surrounding hills and green forests. Very soon, I could see crew members waving a white flag. It was a signal to pull the cable, which applies brakes to the Zipline. I finally came to the base station. The ride may have lasted just two minutes, but it was enough to take my breath away. The experience was incredible!
The sight of the Bungy platform near the zipline base station hanging above the cliff sent shivers down my spine. After taking some rest and sipping a cup of coffee, I was ready for another adventure – Bungy. The Bungy in Pokhara is only the second Bungy site in Nepal and the first tower Bungy in the country.

The Bungy platform.

Though I was a bit hesitant, the ever-friendly crew got two other Bangladeshi tourists harnessed in no time and me. They then asked us to walk up the ramp of a large steel structure hanging from the cliff. Though views around and Yamdi Khola below the Bungy ramp were beautiful, I was getting anxious and my legs trembling. Still, the crew was encouraging me and building some confidence in me. As the two Bangladeshi tourists were jumping before me, I had some time to analyze their jump and prepare myself for the thrill. The first guy was a bit hesitant and was pushed by the crew, while the second one made an easy jump. The intensity of those jumps, meanwhile, was making me nervous.
I was attached to the bungee cord and told to step on the edge. With GoPro mounted on my helmet, the crew prepared me for the jump. I couldn’t look down. I felt the longer I stand on the edge, the harder it would be for me to take the plunge. There was no looking back. I spread my arms, and the countdown began – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and Go! A slight push and I dived with my eyes opened, and hands spread like wings. The fall was swift. The freefall that lasted three seconds was the most gruesome seconds of my life.

I am taking the jump.

 

I am flying down

The Bungy cord stretched to its limit and recoiled, pulling me up and then pushing me down. It was like being man-handled. I screamed from the top of my lungs with massive excitement as I bounced up and down, and the first word that came out of my mouth was: “Oh Sh*t….!”

I am taking the recoil.

 

Uncontrollable recoil.

After some bone stretching bounces and some uncontrollable spinning, the hustle finally stopped, and I took a deep breath. It was the only moment when I felt and enjoyed the jump.

I am descending to land.

Hanging upside down by the cable and slowly descending, I finally felt at peace. There was a small boat in a pond made on the banks of Yamdi, where I was supposed to be landing after the scariest flight of my life. A guy from the crew already on the boat unhooked me. That was the moment when I felt; I had never dreamt of doing it. But I dared it and ‘Yes! I did it.’ It was a feeling of accomplishment after the nerve-wracking descent.

I am posing mid-air

I have traveled to several places and have done loads of things in my life. But this one was the most extreme thing I have ever experienced in my life so far. It was the ultimate thrill and the best experience. I would recommend all to do both Zipline and Bungy when they are in Pokhara. Don’t miss the thrill!

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