If you only have a day or two, The Last Resort is the perfect diversion from manic Kathmandu.
Pat O’Keefe is all over the place, literally. When he’s not running Hokkaido Outdoor Adventures, or on globe-trotting whitewater expeditions, he’s a partner in The Last Resort, a jungle retreat in Nepal, a mere 12 kilometers from the Tibet border.
TLR is the brainchild of David Allardice of Ultimate Descents. The resort started with a bridge—a very high bridge—160 meters above the Bhote Kosi River. The bridge itself is impressive, and not just as the launching point for one of the highest bungy jumps and the highest bridge swing in the world (as of August., 2008).
The bridge provides access to the resort, but it has also given nearby villagers better access to the main road. Before construction, locals had to walk five hours to cross the gorge. In addition, the resort invests part of its revenue in various projects to help support the local community.
Now Allardice’s dream is a reality and the resort sits among cliff-top rice terraces, quaint villages and above the mighty Bhote Kosi. You can’t imagine a more spectacular setting to bungy jump then from the bridge. If the bungy isn’t enough for you, the bridge swing will surely finish you off.
I thoroughly enjoyed the bungy, and the walk back up the gorge, past grazing cattle and through the village provided the perfect dose of quiet reflection to counter-balance the adrenaline. But when coaxed off the platform once again for the bridge swing, my legs started kicking in mid-air like an infant pulled from the crib. After settling in, the seemingly endless free-fall (100 meters to be exact, reaching 150 km/hour) and 240-meter arch across the valley was amazing and the sensation, and view, was quite different from the bungy.
Guests at The Last Resort can also enjoy mountain biking trips to the Tibet border, canyoning tours, relaxing spa treatments and some of the best commercial white water rafting in the world. Accommodation is in luxury tents, or you can pitch your own. Toward the end of the day, everyone gathers at the aptly named Instant Karma Bar to rehash their adventures over a few drinks.
The Last Resort is just a three-hour drive from Kathmandu (if the roads are clear), but the return trip can take longer, depending on traffic and some local variables. On the day we left to go rafting, on our way back, two buses stopped in the road going in opposite directions. Both drivers then jumped out and ran away. It was some kind of vigilante roadblock.
The locals were looking for someone and they didn’t want traffic moving. After a few hours, things got sorted out, and we were on our way. A few more kilometers down the road, we were stopped by a small group of young men. After some haggling, a spirited discussion with our driver and a bit of cash changing hands, we were off again.
I turned to one of the Nepalese staff and asked, "Who were those guys?"
He gave me a wry smile and said, “They said they were from UNICEF.”
We never did make our rafting trip; the group couldn’t wait any longer for us. No one seemed to mind too much, though. You bond quickly with people after sharing extreme experiences, and we had some great friends on this short trip.
The Last Resort
The Last Resort Sales Office is located next to the Kathmandu Guesthouse.
Address: The Last Resort, P.O. Box: 14431, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-4700525 (Sales Office), +977-1-4439501 (Head Office)
Web: www.thelastresort.com.np, www.bungynepal.com