The Lost Earth Adventures Blog

A River Runs Through It

Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

A Micro-Adventure Canoeing Down the River Ure

Canoeing-River-Ure-Ripon-Boroughbridge

It was a cold day in January and the River Ure was in full spat. In the distance, wisps of white water trundled downwards. Rapids. I was sat in a Canadian canoe, and although I am in fact a full-fledged, maple syrup loving Canadian, I am most definitely not a canoer! I felt like a fish out of water, as I scoped out this small section of rapids.

Up until this point, it had been a thoroughly relaxing affair. My husband, Richard and I were having a lazy morning, drinking coffee with no real plans in place. But, we opened the blinds and the sky was a bright blue. It would be criminal to stay indoors on a day like that. So, we hatched a plan to go on a micro-adventure; canoeing from Ripon to Boroughbridge. As a climber and hiker primarily, I’m more akin to solid ground, so this was an exciting prospect.

Canoeing From Ripon to Boroughbridge

The journey would take us on a beautiful 13-km stretch of river. It’s an area abundant with wildlife, including kingfishers and otters. The trip can be done in around 5-hours, and for the most part, meanders its way quietly through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

Yorkshire-Pig-River-Ure
We arrived at the put-in point, which is in a field managed by the BCU (British Canoe Union) and was swiftly greeted by Mr. Snuffles, a very hairy and inquisitive pig, with a big toothy grin! After a few pets and ear scratches, we made our way to the river. It may have been sunny, but it was still winter so we donned wetsuits and neoprene gloves and booties.

The first proper gander at the river and it looked swift; intimidating to my novice eyes. But, Richard is an adventurous paddler, having kayaked wild Himalayan and icy Canadian rivers in the past. With him at the helm, I felt confident we could go for it!

It seems counter-intuitive, but when you enter into flowing water, you situate your boat facing up the river, in an eddy, which is a circular current separate from the main flow of the river. You paddle up the river, lean into the main flow, paddle hard and the current turns you around so that you’re now facing downstream. So, that’s what we did, and away we were.

Paddling the Rapids

From the banks, the river looked swift, but once we were actually in it, and paddling, it was pretty chilled out. What a fantastic means to while away an afternoon! But, wait! There was that chute in the distance, and the closer we got the faster the river went and in my eyes that rapid looked HUGE! We tucked into an eddy and Richard went to scope out our options for the best line.

He came running up the bank and shouted, “it looks great, we’ll run it, grab your paddle and follow my lead, we’re taking the biggest line!” I weighed up my options and decided I was okay with falling in (this was my original fear, mainly due to the cold temperatures), I had a thick 5mm wetsuit, a buoyancy aid, and a helmet. The power of positive thinking seemed to work because as we approached I paddled hard and found myself absolutely loving it. The rapid was short-lived and when we were in the thick of it, it didn’t seem that big. We rocked it!

Guided-River-Canoeing-in-Yorkshire

Regular paddlers may laugh, the rapid was no more than a Grade 1 (entry-level) and in the summer this section would be no more than a ripple. But, at that moment I truly felt alive.

But, at that moment I truly felt alive!

The rest of the trip was a gentle, relaxing saunter downstream, all the way to Boroughbridge. We passed the beautiful gardens of Newby Hall, bypassed a lock where the canal joins the river and just, took it all in. We ended the day with a celebratory pint at the Grantham Arms, raising our glasses to a very successful and rewarding micro-adventure!

The Ripon – Boroughbridge canoe trip is best done in the spring, summer, and autumn months, but can be done year-round. For the most part, this is a gentle river trip and can be undertaken by complete novices, perfect for a fun, adventurous day out. The rapid mentioned is only sizeable (maximum Grade 1 rapid) in the winter months and can easily be bypassed. There’s also the option to take the canal down for the first part of the trip and join the River Ure later on downstream.

We provide canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding trips across Yorkshire, the Peak District, the Lake District, and Norfolk. See where your paddles can take you or get in touch on 01904 500 094 or email us.

How to choose the right trek in Nepal

Posted on: January 29th, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

Which Nepal trek should I do? A quick guide

Choosing the right Nepal trek
Nepal is rightly considered one of the very best mountaineering locations in the world. Its diverse terrain is like no other place on the planet. Home to the Himalaya mountain range, eight of the tallest ten mountains in the world lie in Nepal, including the daunting Mt. Everest (8,848m) herself.

As with any of our treks, you’ll find yourself marvelling at the sheer height of the peaks that lean over you, the rich cultural mosaic in the villages you’ll explore, and the genuinely staggering landscape all around you.

Classic treks vs. adventure treks

So, the first question to ask yourself is what style of trek is for you? Our classic treks encompass the most famous routes in the Himalaya, often referred to as ‘teahouse trekking’. Teahouse trekking in Nepal means staying in traditional lodges for each night of the trek. On these routes, there’s a clear Western tinge. So you’ll see coffee houses with free Wi-Fi, for instance, and you’ll almost certainly bump into fellow trekkers on these routes.

Our adventure treks are more bespoke and aim to take you off the beaten path onto the road less travelled. Depending on the trek, you might stay in teahouses or traditional camping in a tent. While you might have a little more to carry, these treks are usually much quieter, so there’s a good chance you won’t see any other trekkers on your journey.

Each trek offers unique challenges, views and experiences, so it’s worth considering all our treks before you choose the right one for you. Below, we’ve created a quick outline of some of our favourite treks.

Classic treks

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp trek
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,364m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Probably the most famous trek in Nepal, Everest Base Camp is the starting point for those attempting Everest proper. Filled with a near limitless amount of photo opportunities, stunning forests and ancient Sherpa villages, this trek is like a window to the top of the world.
Best for: The bucket lister
Price: From £1,565
Explore Everest Base Camp

Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Circuit Chulu Central crossing tour
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 5,416m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Often considered one of the greatest treks on the planet, you’ll visit stunning lowlands, towering mountain passes and the world’s deepest gorge, Kali Gandaki. Ancient temples, gigantic icefalls and panoramic views of Nepal’s tallest mountains make this trek worthy of serious consideration.
Best for: Active adventurers
Price: From £1,195
Discover the famed Annapurna Circuit

Annapurna Hike & Bike

Annapurna Hiking and Biking trek Nepal
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 5,416m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Combine hiking with biking in our famed trek encompassing the very best of the Annapurna region. From sub-tropical to high alpine, semi-desert to the Tibetan plateau, there is no better feeling we know than hiking across the daunting Thorung La Pass before blistering downhill on bike.
Best for: Bike nuts
Price: From £1,845
Saddle up for Annapurna Hike & Bike

Chisopani & Nagarkot

Chisopani and Nagarkot trek Nepal
Duration: 6 days
Maximum elevation: 2,175m
Difficulty: Easy
Overview: This short but sweet trek packs in authentic village life, abundant wildlife and 360 degrees views of the world’s greatest mountains — Manaslu, Annapurna, Everest and more. The stunning Shivapura National Park plays host to birds, monkeys, Asiatic bears, mongoose and the Himalayan pika.
Best for: Wildlife spotters
Price: From £685
Spot the Chisopani & Nagarkot trek

Adventure treks

Manaslu Circuit

Manaslu Nepal trek
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,100m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Get up close and personal with the world’s 8th highest mountain. Staying in teahouses, this quiet conservation haven is the home of the snow leopard. You’ll hike across wild rapids, through forests and to monasteries well off the beaten path, soaking up untouched culture as you go.
Best for: Active all-rounders
Price: From £1,395
Explore Manaslu Circuit

Langtang Valley

Langtang Valley trek
Duration: 15 days
Maximum elevation: 4,984m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Probably one of the most stunning treks in Nepal, you’ll sleep in teahouses, eat traditional food, soak up ancient Tamang culture and revel in the secluded and serene Langtang Valley well off the beaten path. Trekking to 5,000m with colossal peaks all around, just don’t forget your camera!
Best for: Culture buffs & snappers
Price: From £1,145
Unearth the beauty of the Langtang

Gosainkunda Lakes & Helambu

Gosainkunda Lakes tour
Duration: 14 days
Maximum elevation: 4,360m
Difficulty: Moderate
Overview: Journey into the unknown and soak up the mystical cultures of Sherpa, Tamang and Newari villages. On this trek, you’ll visit traditional mountain communities, ancient temples and the holy Gosainkunda Lakes, all while 8,000m peaks dominate the landscape around you.
Best for: True ruralists
Price: From £1,045
Explore the Gosainkunda Lakes

Secret Trails of Nar Phu

Nar Phu off the beaten path trek Nepal
Duration: 16 days
Maximum elevation: 5,322m
Difficulty: Challenging
Overview: Get well off the beaten path and immerse yourself in the rugged landscape of the hidden valleys of Nar and Phu. Trek to remote villages and ancient monasteries, soaking up the untouched Tibetan culture as you go. If you want to go somewhere few others have gone, this is the trek for you.
Best for: Ultimate explorers
Price: From £1,595
Discover the secrets of Nar Phu

What’s next?

Don’t see something that blows you away? Worry not, we have lots more classic and adventure treks available. We can also build bespoke treks tailored specifically to you.

So, check out all our tours and treks and call our expert team to tell us you’re requirements.

Call 01904 500 094 or email us at info@lostearthadventures.co.uk.

The best things to do in Pokhara

Posted on: January 22nd, 2020 by Lost Earth Adventures

The best things to do in Pokhara

Paragliding one of best things to do in Pokhara
At Lost Earth Adventures, we’re always encouraging people to get off the beaten path. To explore places other people haven’t seen. To do things most people will never do. Pokhara is the perfect place for this.

Finding that mix of blissful ambience and epic adventure, this beautiful city stays with you for life. Never ones to keep a secret, we’ve compiled our list of the best things to do in Pokhara!

Pokhara lies just west of Kathmandu, resting peacefully on the Phewa Lake. It’s more relaxed than Kathmandu, less frenetic, more spacious. Time passes meditatively.

It’s known as the gateway to the Annapurnas and it’s been on our trek itineraries for years. Many of our treks, the Annapurna Base Camp, Annapurna Circuit, the Hike and Bike, Ghorepani and Poon Hill, Mardi Himal, they all come this way. It doesn’t take long before you realise why.

Step into the city

Mountain trek view of Pokhara

Take your first step into Pokhara and an instant sense of calmness and tranquility overwhelms you. It’s busy, but it carries itself much softer than its bigger, noisier brother, Kathmandu.

Nestled within the streets, there are peaceful spots for lunch, rooftop cafes with views to make you want to stay forever. Flip to night-time and the streets are vibrant and bouncing. But the city listens. You never feel out of your comfort zone. There’s too much choice for that. It’s like Pokhara was built for everybody.

If the laidback charm isn’t for you, just look in another direction. There is adventure at every turn.

Stay active

You can rent a motorcycle and head out into the mountain roads on a guided tour. Our guides live nearby and can show you some of the most breathtaking views of the Annapurnas, and the slaloming roads are just swell. Don’t worry if you don’t have a motorcycle license, the experience as a pillion passenger is just as inspiring.

Mountain biking in Pokhara

You can also head out of Pokhara by mountain bike, and we can’t recommend this enough. The trails are truly special with a great mix suitable for all levels. We use Giant Trance and Fathom bikes, perfectly suited to tricky, technical descents or casual strolls down by the river.

Get on the water

Canoeing in Pokhara
When in Pokhara, you simply must take advantage of Phewa Lake. One of our favourite things to do is to hire a rowing boat either by yourself or have a guide row for you across the lake.

Get out and you can hike up to the World Peace Pagoda, a Buddhist temple offering staggering views across the Annapurnas, Pokhara and Phewa Lake.

If you don’t fancy the climb, you could hire a canoe and find serenity on the water. Take a stroll to Davis Falls, a marvellous waterfall and a great place for a few snaps.

Adventure is out there

There are so many other things you can do on and around Phewa Lake too. Try your hand at fishing or go extreme white-water rafting on intense, high-volume water.

Paragliding with Sano Babu Sunuwar in Pokhara
Easily one of our favourite things to do not just in Pokhara but in Nepal as a whole, paragliding up above Phewa Lake is the icing on the cake after any trek.

Co-founder Richard spent a day with Sano Babu Sunuwar, one of the best paragliders in the world. Sano had him performing Misty Flips, the helicopter and lots of other tricks.

The panoramic views of the Himalaya all around are well worth the initial stomach-turn though.

You can see all outdoor activities in Nepal here.

See the sunrise

Another top recommendation is to take a trek to Poon Hill in the early hours and see the sun rise over the Annapurna range. It’s genuinely a breathtaking experience that imprints into your mind for life. Every time we’ve been here, we’ve just felt blessed.

The trek itself usually takes two days of climbing. We can fit it into your overall trip if you’d like, just let us know when you come to book. Find out more about the Poon Hill trek.

Have a breather

OK, OK, we’ve mentioned quite a lot of outdoor pursuits, extra exertion and the like. What if you just want to soak up some culture and relax before you head back to blighty?

Nepalese culture in Pokhara
Like we said, Pokhara speaks to all types of trekkers. There’s some seriously scrumptious food on offer in Pokhara. Rosemary’s Kitchen serves up a storm in Nepali-Western hybrids while Moondance is your go-to if you’re after Western dishes. We can never get enough of Himalayan Java Coffee, our pick for the best coffee in all of Nepal. If you’re a post-trek foodie, read our blog on the best places to eat in Pokhara.

You don’t necessarily associate shopping with Nepal, but Pokhara plays host to some intriguing shopping centres like the Pokhara Trade Mall. Great for souvenir and gifts, too.

Soak it up like a sponge

Hot air balloon at Phewa Lake in Pokhara

Often enough, you’ll find simply exploring this wonderful city – strolling around Old Pokhara, snapping countless natural shots of the mountains, the lake, the architecture, the people(!) – is probably the best way to spend your time. Pokhara hits the spot whether you’re looking for peace or for adrenalin while the views make every sight a postcard.

We’ve been specialising in trips, treks and hikes to Nepal for well over a decade. There’s lots we want to show you. Get off the beaten path with us, see what treks we offer or get in touch on 01904 500 094 or email us.

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