Friday, 2 March 2012

Rafting In Rishikesh

I can’t swim as well as I can drown, to be frank I am a lot afraid of open waters, so when my wife came up with the idea of going for rafting, I was suspicious of her. I thought I better inform the nearby police station that my wife is planning on killing me.

I am also courageous (or maybe too dumb), so I agreed to go for it, after all I am brave when I have a life jacket on me. 

Well he is too brave with the life jacket on; he probably thinks he gets superpowers from it. I love water and I'm always game for any kind of water sports, so I was excited to find out about rafting in Rishikesh. I have tried learning swimming from friends and I do swim a little bit, I'm a very confident swimmer with the life jacket on. :). When the guide stopped the raft at a place with not many whirlpools, giving us an opportunity to swim in the deep water of Ganga, I jumped out without a second thought. I'd been up in Uttarkashi for a month and had been taking refreshing dips in the freezing cold water in the Ganga almost every day, so I was used to the temperature of the water by now, unlike Ranjit. He had just joined me just a few days before this rafting expedition.

I was enjoying the cold waters and the exhilarating feeling that I was floating in the middle of the deep waters. The two guys who had jumped down with me decided to go back in as the current started to get stronger. As I said, I love water, I wasn't ready to go back in and the guide too didn't think it was necessary as I was keeping up with the raft. But as the current got stronger I was finding it hard to keep up with the raft. I started to panic when the raft was getting out of sight. But then I thought the guides would slow down for me which they probably were but the water current just swept me along with it. Ranjit who is scared of the waters and who has never had cold water bath in his life, jumped in to water like superman to save me. I panicked more when I saw him in the water but he did manage to help me get back in the raft.

Rafting or white water rafting is a fun sports, it uses an inflatable raft to carry you across the river. Rafting has different grades, the higher the grade, the harder the course. We went on a grade 4 in Rishikesh. The highest is grade six, so I was in for a big challenge.

We were in a team of ten including two guide (experts in rafting). It began slow and started to get wild, the river was throwing us in different directions, we where paddling for our lives, water spraying all over our faces and the only way we survived was due to the instruction we received from our guides.

We had a great adrenaline rush driving those waves. The course was great because in between we got to rest too. I won’t say rest for sure because it was more like we got to jump of a steep rock face over 4 meter of the water. I jumped of it twice and my wife always two steps ahead of me took one jump more than me. 

Fear is something that drives us not to take part in these activities but once you get over the fear, I swear you’re going to have the most fun. Let me tell u once again, I can't swim but the life jacket does its work, so don’t worry and if you see rafting anywhere, I suggest you go for it.

The funny part of this ride was we had a kid with us, about the age of 12 or so yrs, sitting right in front of the boat holding onto to it as tightly as possible, praying out loud "Jai Mata Di" all the while.

                                             Live life to the fullest...                                                                   
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