THE DAY I EXPERIENCED RAFTING FOR THE FIRST TIME

Date: December 03, 2012
(18 Mangsir, 2069 B.S.)

November 07, 2012 Hariduwar. Early in the morning at 4:30 A.M., my sleep was distrubed by noise of my friends and their rush for visit. When I was just opening my eyes most of my friends inside my room were almost ready. Still I was thinking to sleep for while and enjoy the warmth of bed in winter. After few minutes despite my entimicy with sleep and bed, I woke up making an aim to join with my friends. Actually I didn’t have any plan to leave my friend or let them go for visit without me instead I was interested to join them. This is because we had planned to visit Deheradun after visiting important places of Hariduwar. I didn’t want to miss that opportunity and heading towards Dheradun alone was tough and tedious job for me as I was from Nepal and visiting those places for the first time in my life. I hurried to become fresh and requested my friends to wait for me until I would finish my daily-stuffs-after-bed. I entered into the bathroom with my toothbrush, some innerwares and towel. I was planning to take bath before going outside. When I came outside from bathroom, none of them were inside room but left room without taking me.

Now I had no option except visiting those places alone as my other friends were still enjoying warmth of bed and my roommates had already left me alone. After putting some sunblock and perfumes I left the room. I planned to catch my friends who left me. So I followed them making guess that they might have gone nearby temple.

       I was forced to use common sense or make guess because we didn’t have cell phone for communication since we were there for few days (Only for 3 days). So after tea I took rickshaw to reach temple nearby which is Mansa Devi Temple. But my hope to find those friends became unfulfilled and I reached and returned that temple alone. After visiting Mansa Devi Temple, I returned back to same place from where I left.

At the same time some of my friends were planning to visit places nearby in morning and go for rafting after lunch. I changed my plan to leave for Dehradun according to my other friends and joined them. Who knows?! Rafting might be more wonderful experience for me since I never had experienced it before or it might not be too. But once I had decided, it’s decided. Now it was sure I will leave for rafting after visiting some place in Hariduwar.


       After lunch and room check out in hotel at 10:00 a.m., we left Hariduwar and headed towards Hrishikesh for rafting taking auto in Rs.1000/- Indian Currency for whole day. After two hour (about 30 kilometers) we reached Hrishikesh and went to Sunrise Adventures Private Ltd. for Rafting.

         
Now my real story of adventure begins. This is how we, group of eight friends (From Left to Right: Purushottam, Anup, Bijesh, Ritesh, Salina, Padma, Namrata and Sunita) took experience of real adventure for the first time in our life.

       It was real threat for all of us to do rafting because most of us can’t swim and some of us (including me) were beginner swimmer. Also we never had experienced it before and to play with tides of Ganga River was a risky job for us too. Another threat is that we can’t use belts and ropes to bind us with boat. If unluckily we come across an accident, we even don’t have an idea to save our life in such a big river. Also including four girls in our team without any experienced one (except rafting guide) among us was also great risk for us. We were excited but fear within us dominated that excitement. With fear and excitement we headed 12 km towards the origin of river from Hrishikesh. We all were mentally prepared to face each and every challenge that could make us unsuccessful and were devoted to accomplish the mission.

       Up to now our excitement had reached to climax like in movies. We all were ready to defy all the obstacles that might come on the way. We were ready to challenge the depth of river that might drown us, the tides that might summersault our raft and the rocks that might check our path to the end of the adventure. All I can say is, we were devoted to do what we want and cheers for the success we were going to achieve. We were ready to say the world that we won the challenge that you had presented in front of us.

      As we reached at the rafting point we first wore life jackets which can keep us floating, if we became helpless in the river after accident, for 72 hours. Our rafting guide suggested us what to do and what not to do. Sometime his suggestions and experiences helped us to increase our excitement whereas sometimes he made us feel if we were going to fight with our death. But up-to that moment no more fears was deposited within us. Our excitement dominated our fear. We were hurried to get inside the raft and start our journey of adventure. Before starting journey snapshots were essential for us to keep our memories long lasting. We took some photos along with (and without too) rafting guide and started journey making huge cheers just like if whole world is listening us. We felt like we were going to won the world after this journey. We felt like nothing is impossible for us to do. We felt like Impossible is something that doesn’t have any space or doesn’t exist in our dictionary. While just entering inside the river, strange type of energy flow throughout my body that I can never express in words. I felt like one of the unfulfilled dreams of mine was going to be fulfilled after that audacious journey.

      Our first rapid tide presented challenge in front of us. We must had to beat the challenge to reach our end point and no option remained in-between us. So we all became ready to face the challenge and this is the best part that I found in that adventure. You must beat the challenge to escape from it after you started the journey and all you know is you had no best alternatives than that. And also you had no place to balance your body in that tide. All you have to do is lock your both legs in raft and use your both hands to fight with tides with the help of pedals. Oops! We never looked behind and faced what appeared ahead. At the same time huge mass of water covered us. All of us were wetted and our raft was full of water. But we seldom gave up our effort. Mass of water covering us, water inside the boat and river-as-a-whole also become helpless to fail our journey of success. We won our first challenge. Again cheers from whole team added energy to us and increase confidence to face other tides too.

     Now it was turn to feel the depth of river. As ponded part of river came rafting guide proposed to jump inside the river to experience water depth. I was hurried to jump before guide completed his proposal but he stopped me. After taking suggestion how to jump into river from raft, I became first guy to measure the depth. I jumped into the river which was my first experience inside such large river. I never had experienced such depth of river before. Nearly after five minutes of floating I returned to the boat with the help of rafting guide and rope around raft. While I was inside the river, threat of dangerous water creature was haunting inside my head but nothing happened. Later-on my other friends except two girls (Padma and Salina) jumped inside river to experience the depth. I was thinking to jump for second time too but cold water stopped me to jump. It lasts for about thirty minutes and we moved forward.

      
          We were going to face second tide of Ganga River. At this time I was quite confident to and excited too. I drove raft towards dangerous part of tide to feel the threat, I nearly fall from the raft but luckily nothing such happened. I managed to balance myself and whole of my body was wet due to water covering me again. A kind of fear appeared inside instantly but later-on I thanked god for saving me. Altogether we faced three tides which is called ‘rapid’ in technical language of rafting. Those rapids were named as ‘Initiation Point’, ‘Butterfly Point’ and ‘Thanks God We Are Safe’.
     
    It was great experience to enjoy natural beauty of land and rocks from water. I had never experienced natural beauty of land from water before which I enjoyed lot during that time. Many times I had enjoyed watching rafting groups while traveling by bus or from road but during that time I enjoyed watching people travelling by bus in the road from water and rafting boat. I too enjoyed people enjoying looking us. Temples and suspension bridges of different height were also some of the scenes to watch. Photo shooting inside raft made our adventure really memorable and long lasting.

      White foreigners enjoying music, guitar and dry party in the beach, girls taking sunbath in bikinis, Naaga Baba enjoying cannabis (may be), dating of couple in the beach are some other scenes we enjoyed during rafting when our raft was slow in clam water.
       Tea break and few minutes stop at nearly midpoint of the journey provided us ample time for photo shooting. Hot tea, cigarette and snacks after being complete wet was something like bed with thick covering in severe cold winter.

Finally after travelling about twelve kilometer of Ganga River, We accomplished our journey of adventure which was totally new and unbelievable experienced that I ever had done. I think it was far better decision that I made to go for rafting rather than going Deheradun. I can’t stop saying thank you for those my friends for giving such good opportunity to experience a great experience, i.e. for those friends who left me in hotel and also to those friends who gave concept and prepared plans. This is how my first experience of adventure was.

Now I want to experience such adventure in Trishuli River of Nepal which might be more adventurous compared to what I experienced. Also I’m planning for Bunzy Jump in Bhotekoshi River of Nepal if I get time and opportunities. I have also dream to reach basecamp of Mount Everest, 8848 meter (Highest peak of world which lies in Nepal) and Annapurna Base Camp (ABC; Base camp of one of the mountains above 8000 meter in the world) if I get chance.

(This is a part of bloggers' diary about tour to western part of Nepal and Indian during Western tour from IAAS RAmpur).