I can’t quite remember how it came to my attention. What I do remember is I was at work and after reading the article and watching the video the 3rd July couldn’t come soon enough.
Thursday morning (I think) I strolled out onto the terrace, stretching and wiping sleep from my eyes. Suddenly I was rubbing my eyes in disbelief. Right there in front of me was the best view I’ve had of “Fishtail” in the two weeks I’ve been in Pokhara.
I ran back into the room, grabbed my camera, popped on the zoom lens and for the next 30mins happily snapped away and just basked in the magnificence that is Machhapuchhre.
This was going to be a good day.
A short while later I was enjoying breakfast on the main street watching the sun beating down on the Nepalis going about their business. Only 10am and the sweat was pouring down my face.
The owner of Once Upon a Time is a friendly chap and always good company and I enquired as to what might be a good day trip to make the most of the break in the weather.
He mentioned Begnas Lake or Devi Falls and possibly the bat cave. I thanked him and decided to contemplate my next move over coffee.
A few metres down the road the Zip Flyer sign caught my eye. My heart raced and I made a beeline for the office.
Kyle greeted me at the door. He was somewhat taken aback when I announced I wanted to do it. I imagine many who stick their heads in are just curious and only want to know more. I couldn’t sign on the dotted line and hand over my cash fast enough.
After filling in the necessary forms I was told the jeep was about to leave. Gulp!
First attempt at climbing into the back of the jeep saw me land flat on my arse legs in the air. I should mention I was wearing a skirt. Very ladylike.
Not sure which was more bruised my rear end or my ego.
A successful second attempt and we were on our way.
It would just be myself and Tanya, a student from Aberdeen and animated conversation ensued. That is until we got to the top of Sarangot and the jeep turned onto a dirt track. Bundu-bashing in the truest sense of the word.
After squeezing past a broken down vehicle with only millimetres to spare, Tanya and I fell silent, both anticipating that these might be our final moments alive, before plunging down the side of the mountain to our deaths.
The roof of the jeep was made of fibreglass and I don’t recall seeing a roll bar. If it were to end this way it wouldn’t be pretty.
40 nerve-wrecking minutes later we arrived at the Zip Flyer.
A short but steep hike up and we were greeted by the most panoramic views of the valley. Even the World Peace Pagoda looked insignificant from that height. While the safety checks were taking place we had the opportunity to take pictures.
Suddenly I felt a strange sensation in between my fingers. To my horror attached to my ring finger was my biggest nightmare. A blood sucking leech!!
I screamed like a girl, held out my hand to the zip line dude and demanded he “make it stop”. My eyes were firmly shut and I fought hard not to burst into tears and throw up.
Safety checks complete and two employees strapped in for a test run. This was a good opportunity to get some shots of “takeoff” and see what we were in for. Tanya and I squinted down the mountain trying to make out where the termination point was. It was a long way down!
A short countdown and the gates were released, 2 orange dots sailed down the cable and out of sight.
Our turn next.
Safety mechanisms and optimal body positioning were explained to us while we waited for the harnesses to return to the top.
A few minutes later we were the ones strapped in, feet propped against the metal gates, hearts beating wildly in our throats in anticipation of the countdown.
3 … 2 … 1 …
The gates flew open and the next 90 seconds were an adrenaline infused blur. Being heavier than Tanya I flew down the side of the mountain, twisting and turning in the wind (and probably squealing like a girl).
And just like that is was over.
Climbing out of the harness I discovered my legs had turned to jelly and I was shaking all over. What a rush.
This is definitely something I will do again when I return in October.