Lifesong has returned from a vacation and told us about her experience there, which included River – Rafting. Ani too recently tried River- rafting…All these river rafting stories reminded me of our 1st experience with white water rafting at Rishikesh in year 2008, before Zini arrived in our lives…..
One of my friend is from Shimla and talked fondly about rafting back home…Which made me want to try it. We searched and reallised that Rafting on Ganga is the best in India. So Hubby & I decided to go to Rishikesh and do rafting there.
We stayed at Haridwar, so that we can see the famous Ganga Aarti there in the evening…We decided to spend the evening by exploring the Haridwar markets and eating out. we had delicious Samosa & Kachori (how can any of my vacation be complete without some yummy food :)) and later on we went for the Ganga Aarti. On reaching the Ghaat, we stationed ourselves in a nice position. And it was such a magnificent site. There were so many diyas floating in the river and the priests started performing the Aarti. Although we were part of a mad crowd, I felt so heavenly.
Next day, the adventure began. We started from our hotel and reached Rishikesh. From here we took a bus for Shivpuri, this is the actual site of rafting. However, the first batch had already started and we were asked to wait. Now the problem was that we had to catch a train back to Delhi on the same evening & we should have been in the first batch, which unfortunately we had missed. But finally after waiting for an hour or so (which felt like so many hours), we were picked by the jeep that took us upstream, to the point from where the rafting starts.
Once on the raft, it is a curious feeling, on one side was mountain covered with greenery and on the other side a high road. I had always seen pictures & videos of people doing rafting in narrow stream(which actually is more adventurous) but this river was huge and we had second thoughts about rafting. However, we overcame our fear and jumped into the raft. Initially the journey was calm and the instructor taught us basic rules of rowing & gave us safety instructions. So we started rowing as the instructor told us to. Then we saw the first rapid and our instructor took us into it, what fun it was!!
In rapid the instructor made us turn our raft in the opposite direction to the flow, and we saw how the playful rapid was throwing our raft up & down and whenever we went up, the water came in the raft and we got wet and crazy. Whenever the raft used to tilt 70 degrees, we shouted, laughed and got super excited. The first rapid was over. Now that we had the taste of rapids, we wanted more of them & waited eagerly. We had many rapids on the way, but most memorable ones were the 3 blind mice, they are actually series of 3 rapids, so it is thrice the fun. Others on our raft were staying in a camp so they alighted on the way, and we along with the instructor were in the raft. After that there was one more rapid, which was the most fun as hubby & I handled it alone (of course with the help of the instructor) and the journey ended at Shivpuri.
Now, the train to Delhi was back on our minds. So, after changing we caught the first bus to Rishikesh. Once we reached Rishikesh, outside the Bus depot, we asked many taxi drivers & Rickshaw drivers for direct trip to Haridwar Railway station. After some negotiation, a Rickshaw driver agreed to be part of this unexpected adventure of ours. We picked up our luggage from the Hotel, which was thankfully situated on the way to the station. Also good thing was that, we had already checked out, so we managed to pick up the luggage quickly. We reached Haridwar station five minutes before the train’s departure time. A near miss!!!! But once safely in the train, we realized that though unexpected this too was part of adventure :)!!!!!!!
P.S. A rapid is characterised by the river becoming shallower and having some rocks exposed above the flow surface. As flowing water splashes over and around the rocks, air bubbles become mixed in with it and portions of the surface acquire a white colour, forming what is called “whitewater”. (Courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid)
We didn’t have a pic because both of us were on the raft and you can’t carry camera to the raft, so posting a pic from web. Our experience was similar but even more exciting with water coming in the raft….