Himalayan Swimming Holes: AKA Icy Waterfalls
On the second day of our trek to Poon Hill in the Annapurna Sanctuary, my friend Brill and I stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous waterfall pulsing through a deep, green canyon.
It was the early morning--about 7:30 when we first got to the river and it was quite cold outside. About 53 degrees cold. And then we dipped our feet into the water and it was quite cold. About 53 degrees cold.
Yet somehow, after much heated discussion, Brill and I established that jumping into this waterfall was quite simply something we had to do. Forget the frigid water, forget the frigid air--we didn't come to Nepal to stay warm and safe and dry.
So I stripped down to my board shorts and hopped up on the little ledge on the right. I dropped to the ground and pumped out 20 pushups--doing whatever I could to jack up my body temperature. And then I jumped.
The water was ice. Absolutely freezing. I surfaced immediately and stroked hard for shore. Adrenaline ripped through my veins. After about 20 seconds, I stumbled onto land--swearing loudly, cursing the brutal cold, laughing at my shaking hands.
And I felt so darn alive.