What this is all about - Scroll down for latest updates!!!

This blog is all about a kayaking project for Nepali girls and our adventure to get over there and help them out. We will keep you updated through this blog with how sponsorship and donations are going and hopefully while we are over there we can keep posting on here - Thanks for checking it out.

The aim of the project is to produce a group of female river guides to work on the rivers in Nepal as safety kayakers, raft guides and kayak instructors. It will be a perfect base for the women to start training and eventually work and support themselves as employees or free lance guides within the Nepal white-water industry.

If you would like to help out in any way with this project whether it's advice, sponsorship, gear, donations, idea's or anything else then please send us an email, give us a call or follow the donations link, it would be much appreciated. Cheers

Check out Inka Trollsas's website (she is the instigator of this awesome project), which has more info about the trip and how things are going from her end. http://www.farawayadventures.com/nepaligirlkayakers.php

Saturday, March 6, 2010


22 January - Planning for a trip to India

Making a plan to go to India next december to paddle the Subansari river in Arunanchal Pradesh, India. - Maybe the most scenic river in the Himalayas. Not many people have paddled it and not many people will as a dammed will be built soon. We will be paddling with Indias most professional rafting operator Aquaterra Expeditions-so it will be a great work experience for our river girls. JOIN US!!! The more of you who join, the more of our girls will get the chance to go!

14 December - Training camp and Himalayan Challenge 2009

Had a fantastic Himalayan Whitewater Challenge! 6 girls competing. Susmita, Sita, Anu, Kamala Magar from Bhote Koshi, Ritu from Upper Trisuli and Goma, Susmitas younger sister. Susmita won the overall competition again this time! Before the competition we had five days of training, with our lovely coach Ashley Courtney from Canada!

17 October - Susmita in the newspaper

Things going well, girls keeping busy and doing well on the high water rivers! Yesterday, big article about Susmita in Nepals newspaper Nepali Times: http://www.nepalitimes.com/issue/2009/10/17/Nation/16398

30 sep - New girls getting employed

Back in Nepal, and as usualy things are happening! 3 of our "spring girls" - meaning girls learning kayaking last season, have been employed. Ritu is now working for Equator Expeditions and brought a friend, Lakshmi there as well. Rupa and Goma started working for new company Rapid Runner based in Pokhara where they are now doing trips training to be safety kayakers and kayak instructors. Meena is also working for Rapid Runner as a raft guide. Today they are all on the river - it looks like we are going to have a busy season!

4 sep - Susmitas competition in the world championships

Susmita did really well in the competition. She looked super relaxed and surfed the wave nicely! She didnt make points to continue at the competition, but she has developed her freestyle skills and knowledge, she has lots of fun and a great experience! CHECK OUT THE PICTURES!!! Big thanks to ICF (International Canoe Federation) for sponsoring her to come to the competition!

3 sep -The big day!

Today is the big day! Susmita is happy and not too nervous as she did really well training late last night in the dark! She is competing at 13.24, keep your fingers crossed!

27 aug - Susmita arrives in Switzerland

Susmita has arrived to Switzerland for world championships. She is very nervous, especially as because of health and family issues she has not been able to kayak for a while. But no hopes from my side that she will get great results other that learning a lot and having fun!!!

24 aug - Sponsorship with SILVA/span>

Silva Sweden, developer of gps compasses binoculars heightmeters etc. are now sponsoring me and the girls with headlamps and Gerber Crucials - a handy multi-tool with pliers and knife good for the river: http://www.silva.se/en/

23 aug - Sweden season finished

Just finished the last kayak clinic at Kajaktiv for the season. Thanks all my students who bought my photos to help finance the club!

12 aug - Square Rock helping out wiht a kayak

Square Rock and Jackson Kayaks are sorting out a small freestyle boat for Susmita for the worlds!!! Thanks to Lluis Rabaneda who is making it all happen!

11 aug - HRG movie trailer on facebook

Check out the movie TRAILER on facebook group: Himalayan River Girls - the movie project!!!!!!!!!!!!

6 Aug - Susmita ready for worlds!

Susmita is going to the worlds! She is picking up her visa tomorrow, ready for her first trip to a foreign country. She will be competing in freestyle in Switzerland and slalom in Spain.

6 July 2009 - Thanks Jill Marie and Aquabound!

Paddles from Aquabound are finally out of customs!!! Thanks Jill Marie Stokes for all your help!

2 July 2009 - World chamionchips???

Working on getting at least one Nepali girl to come to Europe and attend to world championships slalom and freestyle in September. The Nepal Rafting & Canoeing Association are finally on to it!!! So keep your fingers crossed it will happen!

25 June 2009 - Come to see us!

For anyone coming to Nepal this fall season, our club is set up in Pokhara. Do come by and visit, and let us know if you would like to teach / learn kayaking. We are also hoping to get some more gear donated and if you need to rent a kayak let us know!

23 June 2009 - Rupa turns down MTB offer

I got an email from Rupa today, one of our young new stars in Pokhara. She has been offered to learn mountainbiking with Nepals MTB champion, and she asked me how to say no as she prefer only to do kayaking! :) :) :)

17 June 2009 - Susmita forced to give up her job as a kayaker

I have some sad news. Our star kayaker Susmita is no longer allowed to work as a kayaker as she got back with her husband who has decided that she should stay at home. Her employer Paddle Nepal are really sad about this as she was just starting a fantastic career doing a very good job as a safety kayaker. The club is now closed for the monsoon season, but some rafting trips still go on, and some of our girls are still out there paddling, and the rest are looking forward to getting going again in September starting a hopefully busy fall season, where we are hoping to get some more girls employments! Until then, I hope to get some fund raising going and some volunteers together to do more professional training!

26 May 2009 - Monsoon time

I am now back in Sweden for summer season work here. Club still goes on, new girls training for one more month until monsoon hits the rivers too hard. Thanks mum and thanks Jeff! for your kind donations to help with club rent!

17 May 2009 - Back from girls trip

Training trip on Seti was fantastic, with all 6 new girls kayaking! Unfortunately we could not afford to do any more training all together this season other than on the lake, but local companies are helping out, so they all get to go on the river frequently. Ritu and Guma paddling lower Seti again with Cross River and pro-instructor Kundan Lama!

12 May 2009 - Girls trip on the Seti

Tomorrow we are off on a 3-day training trip on the lower Seti with Paddle Nepal. All 6 new girls, plus Sambhavi, Hassila and Pasang!!! Wish us luck! Mona says hi to everyone! She is now in Manali in India to work in a rafting office in Nepals off season.

9 May 2009 - Anu starts working for Ultimate Descents Nepal

Anu finally got a job working on the river! She started training with Ultimate Descents and is today off KAYAKINGI!!! Sambhavi and Hassila is now here in Pokhara working at the Paddle Nepal office and helping to look after the club house and the new girls! They went rafting on Upper Seti yesterday. Rupa came back from lower Seti yesterday, rolling in the rapids, got stuck in a hole, no swimming! Loved it!

8 May 2009 - Goma in the newspaper

Article today in Kantipur, Nepals biggest newspaper about the new girls training on the lake. And picture of Guma! Thanks Ashok and Heidi who were teaching them that day!!!

6 May 2009 - Need help with funding!

I am desperately looking for fundings for the club. We need help for club house rent, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!!! Have just recruited two more girls. Ritu from upper Trisuli and Kaji from upper Seti! Started teaching them on the lake yesterday with Jenny from Holland who is doing a great job helping out this season! Susmitas sister Goma came back from kayaking the lower Seti yesterday, no swimming! She is just amazing! Rupa is off today on a kayak clinic on the Seti with Adrenaline Rush! Rest of the girls going on the lake

5 May 2009 - Susmita paddling Kali Gandaki

Back from 3 days paddling Kali Gandaki with Paddle Nepal. Big water after big rain. One very nervous Susmita did amazingly well!!!

27 April 2009 - Paddling Trisuli with Anu

Back to Pokhara after picking up a box of KAVU clothes. And tried to pick up paddles sent from Jill Marie Stokes. Paddles still in cargo - Nepali customs are not my best friends. On the way back stopped by Trisuli and had an awsome paddle with Anu (Himalayan River Girl), Andy Beegan and the Royal Beach boys. Anus last day at Royal Beach as she has decided to look for work training to be a river guide. She is doing awsome, flipped a few times, but her roll is solid! The new girls in Pokhara are doing well. Sometimes joining rafting trips with Lotus Waves who are being very supportive, and yesterday we did some hard training on the lake. All girls rolling, bracing, loving it!

25 April 2009 - Radha bungee jumping

News from adventurous Radha who did a bungee jump!!! And she is keeping busy, today off to kayak lower Bhote Koshi

17 April 2009 - What a day of good news

Got up at 5 this morning to send off new girls Goma and Shanti (Susmita and Minas sisters) on a two day rafting trip on the Seti with Lotus waves. Their very first day on the river. AND Simon Eriksson went on the lake with new girl Anita and got her to roll! AND! Susmita came along with her son in her kayak!!!! AND! Sita just called me from Fishling having kayaked the Trisuli today safety kayaking for Equator!:)

16 April 2009 - Susmita safety kayaking on Trisuli

Susmita came back today with a big smile after her first safety kayaking job on the Trisuli!!! :)

14 April 2009 - New girl on the river

This morning Rupa, one of our new girls, joined a kayak clinic with Adrenaline Rush on the Trisuli with Kamala Chepang .She has ben doing amazingy well on the lake and even teaches other girls how to roll after ten days.

12 april 2009 - Kamala training with Adrenaline Rush!

Kamala Chepang has just finished her first trainee rafting trip with Adrenaline Rush on the Trisuli!

6 april 2009 - Trisuli girls are on to it!

Visited Anu in Royal Beach who is lucky to have UK kayak coach Andy Beegan at the camp this season. Also visited 3 girls in Fishling, who after seeing the Nepali girls in the rodeo started paddling with their brothers. Had a meeting with Adrenaline Rush in Kuringath and looks like Kamala will be on the river with them soon!

5 april 2009 - UD-Radha introducing her sister

Met Radha in Kathmandu who introduced us to her sister who is 15 and wants to start kayaking! Radha is very busy kayaking this season with Ultimate Desents!

4 april 2009 - Paddling with Bhote Koshi girls

Paddling on the lower Bhote Koshi wirh Sita, Mona and Kamala. Stefan Erdman came along to get more material for his documentary.

3 april 2009 - Joshs film doing good in NZ

Good news from Josh in N.Z. He is travelling the country showing his documentary about the Himalayan River Girls. Sounds like succcess!!!

2 april 2009 - Club house is going on!

We have found a club house in Pokhara. Susmita and Mina are currently living there when not busy on the river and training 3 new girls on the lake! One of them in Susmitas younger sister, Guma!

Anita Sapkota who trained with us last year is now working in the sales office in Namaste Adventure / Paddle Nepal Office, but looking forward to going kayaking on her free time!

20 March 2009 - Girls are doing good and getting employed

Things are going very well here in Nepal. I have just been paddling on the lower Bhote Koshi with the girls around Equators Sukute Beach, Sita, Mona, Kamala and Sushila. They are all doing good, and their kayaking is improving. Sita now starts safety kayaking on the lower Bhote Koshi. Also, Radha came by the camp one day doing a trip with Ultimate Descents, her employer, and it was great to see her kayaking! She is really happy with her job and is off on a Karnali trip kayaking on the 22nd. Pasang is also working with U.D. and is training canyoning at the Borderlands. Sambhavi has asked to go trekking, and is currently on the way to Everest Base Camp with a Far Away Adventures group. Hassila has today been offered work for Adrenalin Rush and Kamala Chepang will also be doing training with them on the Trisuli when she is free from school.

10 March 2009 - Articles start coming out

The last few days articles about our project have started coming out. Kajaktivs magalog, Outside (Sweden), Utemagasinet and Utsidan.se Check out: utsidan.se andUtemagasinet

9 March 2009 - Back with the girls

Finally I am back in Nepal, and it has been great catching up with some of the girls so far. Radha is shining with happiness and loves her work as a trainee guide with Ultimate Descents. Tomorrow I am heading out to the Bhote Koshi to paddle with Sita who is kayak training with Equator Expeditions new boys. We will work on Sitas roll that is not working that great at the moment. And Mona (who is now managing the camp out there) and I will be doing more brainstorming for the future, we now have an idea to do a "Save the Karnali kayak expedition" next year and more...

19 Feb 2009 - Susmita and younger sister with Paddle Nepal

Susmita, who won Jackson kayak in the Peak UK White Water Challenge in november is getting best use out of it possible, getting more girls in Nepal into kayaking! She has now started teaching her own younger sister paddling on the lake in Pokhara. She has also quit Kathmandu based Equator Expeditions for Pokhara based rafting and kayaking company Paddle Nepal. Her sister also started working for them helping out in their lovely café at the office! Susmita just came back from working on a three day trip on the lower Seti, and the reports from new employer Paddle Nepal were excellent!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Exciting News


19 Feb 2009 - Susmita and younger sister with Paddle Nepal

Susmita, who won Jackson kayak in the Peak UK White Water Challenge in november is getting best use out of it possible, getting more girls in Nepal into kayaking! She has now started teaching her own younger sister paddling on the lake in Pokhara. She has also quit Kathmandu based Equator Expeditions for Pokhara based rafting and kayaking company Paddle Nepal. Her sister also started working for them helping out in their lovely café at the office! Susmita just came back from working on a three day trip on the lower Seti, and the reports from new employer Paddle Nepal were excellent!

10 Feb 2009 - Radha and Pasang starts working for Ultimate Descents Nepal

The spring season in Nepal is now starting. Two of the girls from our training program just started working for the Kathmandu-based rafting company Ultimate Decsents as trainee river guides. Radha Tamang is currently on a Karnali-trip! Congratulations!

28 Jan 2009 - Nepali girls on the board of Himalayan River Guide Association

Good news from Kathmandu: The Himalayan River Guide Association had their Annual Genera Meeting yesterday. Six of the newly trained girls attended the meeting and Pasang and Sambhavi, two of the girls, also got elected into the board. I found it very good news as it means the girls are really involved in the guide association which will help in their own future as well as helping the guide association who is doing a lot of great work for developing the situation for Nepali River Guides. It was with HRGAN we organised the raft guide training program for the Himalayan River Girls.

Here are a couple of cool pictures taken at the Himalayan White-water Challenge

Sita claiming her prize at the Himalayan White-water Challenge.
Christie Glysmer

Susmita and the boat she won for coming first in the Nepali Womens Category of the Himalayan White-water Challenge.
Photo taken by Christie Glysmer

Thanks Carve

On behalf of the Himalayan River Girls, a huge Thank-you goes out to Carve Designs who donated some swimwear to the girls. They loved wearing the items underneath their thermals and dry-tops on the river.

Check out their website at http://www.carvedesigns.com/

Thanks Carve

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And then there were four . . . . . . . . . . . .

So much has happened in the past few weeks and it has been amazing. Now, everyone other than Hester, Malaika, Kelly and myself have gone home. We have a few more days in Nepal before heading out to Thailand. So here is an update of what the Nepali Girls have been up to for the last while.

After the Himalayan Whitewater Challenge the Nepali Girls spent 5 days on the Trisuli river learning heaps about rafting from Churmani and Kali (two Nepali raft guides). The girls practiced guiding the rafts and oar boat and worked hard for 5 days.

Emi Earle, competing in her first freestyle event at the Himalayan Whitewater Challange, and ripping it upBruno, Whitney, Malaika, Emi, Hester and Hayley ready to pull some big air .Susmita with her brand new Jackson Kayak, won at the Himalayan Whitewater Challange
Following this they spent 3 days doing a WRT course (Whitewater Rescue Training) where they excelled. They had one day theory and then 2 days on the Bhote Koshi river, where they where based at Sukute beach. There were 40 other male students completing this course and the women were split up into groups with the men. The girls worked so hard and spent hours and hours swimming rapids, learning knots and learning about safety on the river. 7am till 5pm in cold water - lucky they had plenty of nice gear to keep them warm.

From the WRT course the girls were back to the Trisuli River for more raft guide training.Hasilla and Sita flipping the raft
Some of the girls climbing back in

We met back up with the girls on the 16th of November at the Seti River. This was the last trip for the girls before they completed their five week training programme.

Anna White, Hayley Segal, Malaika Davies, Hester Hilbink, Anna Bruno, Malin Strand and myself along with Josh Neilson who continued filming where part of the Lower Seti trip.
Malaika, Anu, Hasila, Rama, Sophie, Sam Bhavi, Anna and Hester.

Seeing the girls again after a couple of weeks was amazing. They were looking so strong and happy. We arrived in the morning and after a catching up, we began to get ready for the river.

It was great to see all the Nepali girls working hard and packing the rafts. They were loading up, tying fancy knots and just looking like they knew what they were on about.

The girls using their new skills to tie on all the gear, including their dry bags donated by Bivouac Kamala and Susmita pumping up the raft

So we left camp and began the final trip. Hasila, Kamala and Sam Bovhi were in kayaks and we worked hard on eddy turns all day with the girls taking turns in kayaks. They were looking great on the rafts and in the kayaks. Even when they swam, they swam with confidence and knew what they needed to do. Hasila went from not being able to keep herself afloat 5 weeks ago to swimming down big rapids with so much power.

3 days on the Lower Seti, working hard on their kayaking and rafting skills and we were all so proud. These girls have come so so far in 5 weeks it's unbelievable, we are all so proud of them and what they have achieved.The last day on the river was so special, we pushed off from camp with Sita and Susmita guiding the paddle rafts and Radha guiding the oar raft. All looking so happy and confident. We made our way to the finish and after some lunch at a little rolling practice, we were on the bus for a 6 hour bus ride back to Kathmandu.

The following day the girls spent with an American women who taught them lots of First Aid skills. Then the 20th was the day the training programme came to an end. We all went to the press conference/closing ceremony which was really special for everyone.

After some really special speeches from Inka, Sita, Anita and Churmani, I was a
sked to say something, and I talked about how proud I was of all the Kiwi girls for there hard work, all the people who helped out with this and of course how amazed and proud we all were of the Nepali Girls for there huge efforts over the past 5 weeks.

Last year a group of Nepali Women summited Everest being the first Nepali women to ever do this. They came to the ceremony and presented the girls with their certificates, which was super cool. One of them spoke about how excited she was that more Nepali Women were developing a passion for adventure.Just after the girls received their certificates.Susmita, Sam Bhavi and Anita, so happy and proud.

The Himalayan River Girls with the Everst Summiting Girls, a very powerful group of young Nepali Women with a love for adventure

Talking to Inka we also found out that many companies wanted to employ the Women and that there were more jobs than them, so from this training programme they had job offers left, right and centre. It's great to see so much support from Nepali companies, and so good to know that when next season rolls around in February, (it's winter now) these girls will be working in the industry.

Later that evening we all had dinner together, more speeches and from the Kiwi Girls, a fish hook necklace from NZ to keep them safe on the river and representing the friendships we developed.A Hongi and a hug for Mina after she received a necklace from team Kiwi

Mailaika giving Mina a Hongi and Hug

Saying goodbye to the girls was hard, we are so happy for them, and so proud of what they achieved, they are all very special young ladies who now have endless opportunities.

Slowly everyone has left to go home, now we are four. Today we leave Kathmandu for a night in Bhaktapur and then in Nargakot before heading out t
o Thailand on the 27th.


Sita Thapa
Age: 22
Info: Has one son but has split from her husband. Learned to kayak with Inka last season. Has been working for Equator Expeditions for 8 months. During the training programme her kayaking skills sky rocketed and she also practiced more raft guiding, now guiding a raft she looks great.
Sita surfing it up in the Himalayan White-water Challenge

Age: 23
Info: Has one daughter has split from he husband. Learned to kayak with her husband a couple of years ago and then stopped. Spent time kayaking with Inka last season. Has also been working for Equator Expeditions. On the training programme she learned to guide a raft as well as working hard on her Kayaking skills with Malin Bergman (a swedish slalom kayaker) who taught her alot about technique.Susmita, sun-blocked up and ready to rock it!

Anita Sapkota
Age: 18
Info: Will finish school in April, has very good English and when she finishes school, would like to work in the management area of a rafting company. Chandra will help her with this in April next year.
Beautiful girls Radha and Anita ready for the river.

Sambhavi Karki
Age: 27
Info: SamBhavi had been working in a casino before the training programme. Her sister was part of the team that summited Mt Everest. When the season begins again in February she will be working for a rafting company. She hopes to keep her job at the Casino in the off-season.
Sam Bhavi charging it down the Sun Koshi River

Hasila Shrestha
Age: 28
Info: Hasila also has been working in the Casino and next season will be working for a rafting company. She also hope to keep her job at the casino for the off season.
Hasila, smiling as usual, with some great edging practice in the 'Method Air'

Pasang Sherpa
Age: 24
Info: Pasang has been studying at university. She has very good English and and is very clued up. She will now be working for Ultimate decents, through this job she will be able to learn a range of skills and hopes to be not only a river guide but also canyoning, trekking, and use her management skills too.
Pasang showing Mila (a raft guide) how it's really done.

Rama Shrestha
Info: Rama will complete school in April. From here she would like to get a job with a rafting company. Chandra will help her with this when she has finished school.

Rama showing off her new skills

Kamala Chepang
Info: Kamala comes from a village by the Trisuli River. She is the first girl from her village to complete school up to the level she is at. She has returned to complete her schooling which is extremely important and during her spare time, she will be on the Trisuli River practicing her rafting and kayaking skills with a local Trisuli Raft Company. Kamala had very very little English before the training programme but 5 weeks later she made a huge improvement.

Malaika and Kamala with big smiles on the Sun Koshi.

Radha Tamang
Age: 22
Info: Radha has a natural talent for kayaking and rafting. In a kayak she looks as though she's been paddling quite a while. She went against her husbands wishes to do this training programme. When she was back in Kathmandu before the WRT course she went home and did not return. After a few days Inka managed to get hold of Radha and although she had missed the WRT course, she was able to join back in. Her husband left to go to America to study for 3 years. So now she has three years to concentrate on her rafting and kayaking.
Radha re-adjusting the foot pegs in the 'Perception Phat' donated by Canoe and Kayak NZ

Age: 29
Info: The first female raft guide. Has been working in the industry a long time but has been in India. Now there are girls working in the Nepal Industry she would like to stay and work in Nepal to. So she will be working in India during the off season and Nepal in the season here.
A standard Mina photo, loud and full of energy.

Info: Joined us for the Lower Seti trip, works at Royal Beach by the Trisuli River for a rafting company. Not yet working on the river for them, but it wom't be long as her skills are really improving. On the lower Seti trip she worked on her kayaking technique and her raft guiding skills, she was looking very good in her kayak and will be some tough competition at the Himalayan White Water Challenge next year.

Anu on the Lower Seti

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Updates

While the girls have been rafting up a storm and even completed a Whitewater Rescue Training course on the Bhote Koshi River, we have been hiking our way to Annapurna base-camp. It was a beautiful trip and once we got there, we were surrounded 360 degrees by huge mountains.
The Nepali Girls are really coming along and we will be joining them in 2 days time for the final 4 days of the training programme on the lower Seti River.

Josh Neilson and Anna Bruno have both been updating their blogs with photos and stories so check out http://whitewater-koa.blogspot.com/ for josh's blog or http://www.ugandosomething.blogspot.com/ for Anna Bruno's Blog, they are both great photographers and have some amazing photos on their blogs.


Huge thanks to Whitewater Nepal

Georgia Bhandari who is co-owner of Whitewater Nepal was our wonderful trip leader on the Sun Koshi river. She did an amazing job coordinating 38 people on the river and even went out of her way to run up to a village and catch some chickens about day 7 of the trip, so we had some freash meat. It sure was interesting seeing the raft turn up at camp an hour later than us just on dark with 5 live chickens that were soon to be a delicous chicken curry.

A massivethanks to Georgia and Whitewater Nepal for the use of two Bliss-stick kayaks during the Sun-Koshi trip, which meant less kayaks we had to hire.

Cheers, Sophie

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Loading up at the Holy Lodge and heading to the bus
Loading up the bus for Sukute BeachAt Sukute Beach next to the Sun Kosi On the water working on skills before heading downstream
Hasilla after her first day on the river
One of the many bridges we paddled under on the Sun Kosi
Lunch stop day 3
Team USANZ (kiwi's and americans) in our hotel Hakapur the biggest rapid in the river, this is just the end of it
Some of the Nepali Girls on the raft with Sita guiding under the watchful eye of Anna Bruno
On our way to the Trisuli, only 18 hours to go
Babu, a local paragliding in to the festival in his kayak.

I'm off on a tramp now but more photos in a week or so and lots more updates.

Thanks Sophie

Lots of Updates

Well where do i start.................................................. since our last update time has just flown by.

Our plan was to leave for Sukute beach on the 13th of November but there was a road block as a villager had been hit by a motor bike and the village involved wanted compensation from the government. So we were delayed a day which was okay as it was great to have another day working on paddling skills and rolling in the Kathmandu police swimming pool.

Malaika showing the girls how Buoyancy Aids work.

Radha loving it. Unfortunately she gets super dizzy after rolling over a couple of times, so she couldn't work on her rolling as it made her chuck up. But above the water she was super happy.The girls working on their rafting up skills

The girls worked super hard all day and we pushed them to the max, so with red eyes and looking like drenched rats we called it quits and went for a nice feed of Dahl Baht with the Nepali Girls and Inka. All the girls came back and stayed at the Holy Lodge with us for the night as they had already left their homes for the trip and weren't super keen to return. We also meet Susmita and Sita that evening, who were also joining the training programme (2 girls Inka worked with last time she was here).

All of us at the Kathmandu Police Pool
Early the next morning we were up packing gear, putting it on Rickshaws (3 wheeler bikes with big carriages) and making our way to the bus that was taking us to Sukute Beach.

Hester, Hayley and Anna sorting gear for the trip.

We made it almost all the way and then about 15km out from our destination we hit the road block, so we grabbed everything we could carry and started walked. 4-5km later we were on the other side of the road block and a truck had come to take us the last few km to Sukute Beach.

We were super eager to get an afternoon of paddling in with the girls so after meeting Mona (the Nepali Woman who worked with Inka to make this happen) we had a quick lunch, set up camp on the beach, dug a toilet hole and then decided to go back and walk through the road block again to get kayaks so we could get on the water.

Pasang begged a few of the locals to please let us through and told them the project story but they wouldn't budge so off we walked. We got to the bus and heard they were going to unblock the road so after an hour and a half the bus was moving and it raced through the road block to Sukute Beach with half of us on the roof. The boats were coming loose and we were on top of them and the bus was gunning it so it was pretty exciting and super scary at the same time.

Emi, Malaika and Hessie waiting on the roof for the road to be unblocked.

It was almost dark by the time we got back so no paddling for the day but we had a great evening by the fire and some amazing Nepali food cooked by the girls.

Next day we were on the water with the girls working on paddling straight, then moving on to sweep strokes then edging and carving, and then eddy turns. The girls were looking great. Some also spent a bit of time in the pool working on rolling. We also had two 15 year old local girls Comola and Susilla join us. They have been doing some kayaking with Mona and we helped them with rolling for the day.

We had another great evening around the fire and the Nepali Girls really came out of their shells showing us how to dance Nepali Style. It was a great evening of bonding and heaps of giggles.

Here's a breakdown of whats been happening for the last couple of weeks, if your not into reading then some lovely photos are following and I'll try and get some more up once we are back from our walk.

16th, the day of our departure down the Sun Kosi.

We were up early on the river with the girls having our last eddy turn session before the rest of the crew turned up.

At 12:00 two buses arrived packed full of the crew and it was all go from there. We meet the crew of girls and also had some great reunions with friends we hadn't seen for a while and then got to it. Our aim was to be on the river at 2:00 which didn't leave us long to have lunch, pack and load the rafts.

A quick team chat and some yummy lunch, then it was boat sorting time. I ended up in a pyrhana prozone which was an interesting boat, but actually got quite attached to it by the end of the trip.

All packed and ready to go we had a few speeches and blessings, and a super special moment between Inka and Mona, the two Women who are behind this whole project. Then 38 people departed Sukute Beach for 10 days on the Sun Kosi River.

The first couple of days the Nepali Girls stayed in the raft learning about how water works and getting comfortable with the river. On the afternoon of the second day we got to camp at four and had a great little kayak session with the Nepali girls.

Then on day three Radha and Sam Bovhi got in kayaks for their first whitewater kayaking experience. They did so well and even paddled a couple of grade three rapids, Radha went into a hole and calmly surfed out of it looking nothing like a beginner. After lunch we swapped over and Rama and Anita got into kayaks for the afternoon. The following day Pasang, Hasilla and Camola got in kayaks and had a great day. Camola stayed in the kayak all day and did do well, she was exhausted when we rocked up to camp at 5:30 but was absolutely loving it.

The next few days the girls were back in the raft as the river got a bit too challenging for them, but they had heaps of fun rafting. We got to paddle some super exciting rapids including the famous Hakapur which definitely got the adrenalin going.

Emi Earle and Kelly Blayney were in kayaks most of these days too. They sure didn't look like beginners as they charged down the massive wave trains, dodging the huge holes and powering across the big eddy lines. We were extremely proud of these two girls who were looking super solid.

After a few days of bigger rapids such as dead mans eddy, rhino rock and the jungle corridoor, the Nepali Girls were back in the kayaks. All seven of them were on the water and the ratios were great. One Nepali girl with two instructors. It was a big day on the river for all the girls and they did extremely well.

The following day all the girls were back in the raft and Sita was keen to guide, so with Anna Bruno helping her out, she guided the girls for the morning. We got to camp after only a couple of hours and got to chill out in the sun for our second to last day on the river.

The 25th was our last day on the river and all the Nepali Girls were in Kayaks except Sita, who again guided the raft. The Girls did so well in the kayaks and we had a nice big wave train to finish off with.

So arriving at the finish we had only an 18 hour bus ride to go ............................................

The bus drove us through the night to the Trisuli River, where the festival was held. We arrived early in the morning, set up camp then had a day to chill out and recover from the long night on the bus.

The 27th we decided to take the girls down the Trisuli run where the competition would be held. We had heard from lots of people it was grade two run with a couple harder rapids. Malin and Lena set off with Sita and Susmita to practice the slalom course as these two had been kayaking longer than the other 7 Nepali Girls. Once on the river we discovered it was definitely not an easy grade two so the Nepali Girls got off the river and a few off us carried on paddling down, pleased the Nepali Girls weren't with us as it would have been a long long day of walking around lots of rapids.

Because the Trisuli was harder than expected, only Sita and Susmita could enter the kayaking part of the competition. But Anita, Hasilla, Rama, Radha, Camola, Sam-Bovhi and Pasang entered in the raft race with Mina (a Nepali Women who has been working in India) guiding them.

It was a fantastic event and for the first time ever Nepali Women competed. There were three Nepali Women (Sita, Susmita and Anu) and 17 International Women, the most to ever compete in the Himalayan Whitewater Challenge. Sita walked away with a paddle, drytop and helmet and Susmita ended up winning a paddle, a drytop, a helmet and .............................. a brand new kayak.

So after a fantastic weekend of kayaking and fun we said goodbye to the Nepali Girls for a few weeks and got on the bus to Kathmandu.

Right now they are on the Trisuli River with Churmani and Manish who are working them hard with their rafting skills. We will see them in a couple of weeks and some of us will join them for the last week of their rafting and kayaking on the Lower Seti River.

Most of the Kiwi crew are now heading out for 8 days to the Annapurna Basecamp.

Thanks for reading - There will be updates on the rafting in a couple of weeks and hopefully some more photos in just over a week.

Cheers, Soph

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Swedish girls raking it in

We have had some fantasitc news from the Swedish girls. Malin works as an Architect for FISKARHEDENVILLAN, one of Swedens largest house companies. And FISKARHEDENVILLAN have donated $1300 USD. For more info check out www.fiskarhedenvilla.se. Lina another Swedish girl, has also had a donation of about $1040 USD from the company she works for called XLENT
"XLENT Strategy is a Nordic strategy consulting firm helping companies achieve market impact through pragmatic strategy development and excellence in realization. More info can be found at w

So fantastic news and a huge huge help for the Himalayan river girls.