NEWSLETTERS - Manaslu 2010

Newsletter 1811 October 2010

A trip to "Last Resort"

Just when we thought it was all over and we could relax in Thamels bars and massage parlours Russell produced a sting in the tail: a trip to the aptly named Last Resort, allegedly while we waited for our bags to reach Kathmandu.

Situated near the Tibet boarder, the Last Resort is reached via the world’s longest three hour drive, the discomforts of which are relieved only by several crashes.

In an eccentric marketing drive, the resort boasts a curious combination of natural tranquility, perfect relaxation, and the worlds biggest bridge swing. Only Woody didn’t appreciate any irony.

Arriving in the late afternoon, the team dined and then settled in for Matt’s “Comeback Concert”. It was heartening to see this once promising, if wayward artist able again to combine chords and lyrics, sometimes even from the same song, and without having to mop out his tent in the morning. All in all it was a balmy and perfectly chilled evening, marred only by the spectre of the next morning’s activities.

With the dew still damp on the grass, the acadas buzzing and last night’s drinks curdling in their stomachs, the first batch of victims for the bungee were herded to the wobbly rickety bridge which spanned the gaping 160m gorge. Far below, if anyone cared to look, was the Bhote Kosi raging river.

The previous evening a long tense game of Spoof had procured the first victim, Adam, who had ironically traveled all the way from New Zealand to make his first bungee jump. But the official executioners had other ideas, plucking Russell from the ranks and rudely bound his feet. With a captains courage, heroes wave and a slight push, Russell went off the bridge with the grace of a shot yak. Adam, Matthew and Alan followed reluctantly, with equally limp waves and forced smiles, whereas Woody considered it a great hangover cure.

Next up was the bridge swing – the world’s biggest, longest, fastest and every superlative signifying worst. Woody was looking forward to it – which says it all. Russ, Woody, Alan, Pieter and plucky Ellen all plunged off. Ellen even professed to enjoy it, once she could speak many hours later.

That afternoon, Russ, Rene and Matthew took in some fresh air and much water on a very wet canyoning trip. Most of the team replaced their body organs, and Adam and Woody drank.

Departure the next morning was delayed sorting Adam’s bar bill, a task rendered more complicated by his tendency to forget his tent number and occasionally name.

But finally the team was able to leave. Only a rafting excursion down the Bhote Kosi now separated them from home.

Written by Matthew Holt.