The series so far…
Continuing on my Rishikesh / Shivpuri adventure trip in this second article, sixth in the “Alive is Awesome” series, it was was Day 2 of the trip and many of us woke up early to see some twilight and have some nature walks around the camps. Well, frankly speaking most important factor was to get comparatively less used and some clean dry toilet pits at the camps 😉 … Well, that was an experience in itself which I will share some other day 🙂 … After our nature walks, little gup-shups over tea, few rounds of volleyball and having the breakfast it was time for the main event i.e. River Rafting
River Rafting at Rishikesh / Shivpuri
We hiked back to road where our ferry was again waiting to drop us at Marine Drive, a place from where this mammoth 4-5 Hrs wet’n’wild experience begins. For the first time team was distributed and the known ones were replaced by the unknown ones among 100 odd that present that time, with little objections instead of all the members only 4 were replaced and 4 can remain as known in one raft. Some clear cut instructions and the event begins. Looks smooth at the start requiring a little force but as soon as a little rapid came I went searching to find some support for my foot only to hear from the instructor that since I was in front I will not be able to find any support, with that cheeky smile 😯 … As it came near, wow, my heart was in my mouth sitting in front and seeing how the wave forms in a rapid and hits you… Crazy, I was like why the hell I am here. One splash of that rapid and I was all wet. Then, I got back the senses and asked myself to stay calm as the next one comes, a little big this time. With controlled senses the second one was also taken care of and now I was like enjoying what was going around.
The raft sails over Ganges, right amidst the hills, as if you are on some new pathway, a pathway that has wavy waters, a pathway that has no traffic, a pathway that makes you wet in one or the other way. It was a different feeling something far more exotic then Canyoning last night, a feeling truly relates “Alive is Awesome”. Seriously, it takes a heart to see how a rapid transforms, especially sitting in front of the raft and then how it hits you but your special job is to raft else you will make everyone fall into the water, a sense of responsibility. After 3-4 rapids feeling was like there can’t be any other better thing than this, a little bit scary, a little bit fun 🙂 … Then, to take it s step further I dived into the water holding the lifeline ropes aside of the raft. Floating right on the Ganges into the middle of wilderness again took me into trance for about 20 minutes before the instructor asked me to jump in as a major rapid was approaching, named Golf course (if I remember correctly). There were some special instructions given by the guide/instructor to counter this big rapid as he believed there were high chances of raft toppling over in this because the water level was high that day. We all were anxious, a bit scared seeing the milky waters ahead and a feeling of getting flow into high throttle waters increasing as the guy adjacent to me told that he could not understand anything what guide said as he didn’t know Hindi 😯 … And it came, less than 2 minutes of high voltage heart pounding moments and by god’s grace we were through this time completely drenched!! We saw few rafts toppled before they stopped other groups and asked them to cross by foot so that there is no casualty. Rest of the journey upto Rishikesh was just simple paddling nothing more, calm and serene.
Cliff Jumping at Rishikesh / Shivpuri
As the rafting ended and guys over there started putting the raft into pickups, one of the instructor came in and asked a bunch of us to follow him. With zig-zags path he lead us to the top of a huge boulder and he smiled. We asked us what was it about and he just jumped from the top into the river and I was like 😯 … We we looked down he was waving hands and asking us to jump in and this was Cliff Jumping!! Well, as my other friends stepped back a bit, I cautiously went near the edge and saw the drop. Whoosh!! It was good 15-18 feet drop and that too right into the water and I do not know how to swim. Adrenaline was pumping up and every one from behind was like encouraging as they joined me back over the boulder. A round of prayers, strengthening the nerves, a deep breath with tightly sealed mouth, I threw myself off the boulder – Yes, I jumped. 2-3 seconds, heart stopped I guess, a big splash, and whoaaa I was deep into the water with senses back to find back the air and it took again about 3-4 seconds to come out and was so glad to find myself alive… Water was everywhere again, eyes, nose, ears, mouth and where not but I was alive 😀 …
It was an adrenaline pumping experience, the fall lets you remember everything from the past in those few seconds, guess, that fast our brain works 😀 … But, it was a moment not to forget, a moment to feel different, a moment to overcome my fear, a moment to cherish for a long time, a moment no less than what makes you feel “Alive is Awesome”. Then, I was followed by my friends and others in the groups before we called up the day as it almost got too dark to see each other from distance. The day further was followed by a bonfire and lovely dinner before we all went to sleep for the day. It was one different experience of Traveling I had gone through, surely few things had changed, I no longer feared deep water that much (though I still do) even though I do not know to swim!!
In the end, I will surely say if you haven’t been to Rishikesh / Shivpuri then do not wait for any other season and go, try out and experience that “Alive is Awesome” feeling in these 4 different ways of adventure bathing at just one place only… Do share your experiences with us, if you have also gone through any of these ways of getting wet in the wild. In the next article, I will talking about one of the oddest way I did bath even in some of the freezing cold temperatures I had experienced. So, please stay tuned 🙂