We got up late after having just 6 hrs of sound sleep. We woke up around 8am, all getting up from the bed gradually one by one. Half of the crew was in another room. We took around an hour to get ready and move out for breakfast.
Disaster struck again after what we had seen and been through last night. Ganesh’s rear tyre had again got deflated. We were all puzzled at the moment and didn’t knew what to do. We had repaired the puncture last night and here we were again back to square one. We decided to keep the bike there itself and he was now riding pillion.
We ate good south Indian breakfast consisting of Idli and Wada and finally a good filter coffee at an udipi restaurant situated on the main road. As per plan we were to do river rafting today. Soon, Anis bhai received a call from his office saying that he had some training to attend in Pune which freaked out all of us. He made an urgent flight booking for evening and the flight was from Dehradun. He was leaving a day earlier than planned.
Without wasting much time, we started to search for shop accepting bookings for the river rafting. Sagar, before the trip had told me that there were many river rafting agencies along the main road which we were standing right now. Almost 70% shops on the roads were of booking the river rafting facility. We were confused as to which agency to approach.
We could see one agency named “Double Triple Adventure” in front of us so we moved inside. The deal was done with for 350rs/person including transporting to the rafting location ‘Shivpuri’ which was around 13 kms from Rishikesh. The end point was Rishikesh. The agency was not going to help us get back to our hotel. We had to look for our own transportation from Rishikesh to our Hotel.
As per the agency it was going to be a good 4 hrs affair from start to end and without wasting further time we went to park our bikes at the hotel and get ready for the adventure. We had to change our dress and we were told to carry nothing except for loose cash. By the time we got ready the vehicle was standing at our hotel gate to pick us up. The time was around 10am. We were all excited to do river rafting in Ganga.
We drove around 13 kms till Shivpuri in Mahindra Bolero, where we all got down and then we were given the safety life jackets to wear. The raft which was mounted on top of the vehicle was taken down to the river. It was a good 5 min walk down from the main road to the river side.
At the boat, we were all briefed about the safety and the use of the pedal and the basics of rafting and the emergency procedures. I already knew the basics, since this was my 2nd river rafting. The 1st one being done at Kolad in Maharashtra. For most of them, it was their first.
We were told that there were going to be around 8-10 rapids ranging from entry level Grade 1 to extreme level Grade 5. I knew what the Grade difference meant and was excited how the Grades would come this time. I was hungry for more as Kolad rafting, which I thought was very basic. Now we were up again the mighty Ganga and seeing her flow, I knew that the rapids were going to be a challenge, especially Grade 3 and above.
We started smooth and then the speed increased and we started to encounter Rapids one after the other. It was at our 2nd rapid when we were about to crash to the adjacent rocks but, just at the right time, we managed to straighten our raft and moved ahead.
Like this we completed all the said rapids and it was really fun. Each rapid were having their own special names, which were really esoteric. Some of the rapids were really scary as our guide had told that if you dont paddle properly in the rapids, the boat might topple. And so, against the loud noise of the crashing waters of Ganga, we were keeping our ears open to listen to whatever our guide was saying.
Apart from just commanding our raft and giving us directions, he also told us interesting stories about his rafting life as a guide and also told us about the incidents happened during his rafting experience in the river. When Uttarakhand was reeling under severe landslides and cloud burst and heavy rains, he told us that many trucks and big vehicles got washed away into the river and the flow of the mighty Ganga was so terrifying that they looked like matchstick boxes flowing down a small rivulet. Such was the terror of the river during the floods that people watching it live were scared to go near her. Even watching her sent chill to the bone.
He also dropped us into the flowing river just so that we can get the taste of its flow and temperature. Of-course, we were clinging to the side rope of the raft and leaving it would have been a straight suicide, even though we were were life jackets. The flow was sufficient to crash our body parts against the nearby rocks.
Later on, we also jumped off a huge rock around 3-4 mtrs height which was along the banks of the river. This we did when the waters were calm and there was not much flow. What looked like an easy mission for us turned out to be a scariest adventure for three of us. Out of 5, only three agreed for the jump. The rock looked very small from the distance but, when we actually climbed it to take a dip in the water below, we realized how high it was and even though with life jackets ON, we were facing difficulty in jumping straight into water. Myself, Ganesh and Anis bhai did the jump after much cheering from our other two partners, Karan and Bimal ji. It was really an one of the kind experience for all of us. The saying holds true here, ” Once the adventure bug hits you, there is no escape”.
Soon, after that we were taken along the bank of the river at Rishikesh and dropped off at the Ghats. We then after that took rickshaw to take us back to the hotel. The time was almost 3pm by then.
We all got changed to our traditional clothes as Sagar’s wedding was there in the evening. Anis bhai bid us adieu as he left for Dehradun airport. In the meantime, since myself and Karan were ready, we tried to search and book a hotel of 4 of us for the next 2 nights. The room which was allocated to us by Sagar, had to be vacated, which left us now choice but to search for new one. We first tried with Zostel, but the charges for per night were too high. Then, at our second attempt at finding the hotel, just ahead of Zostel we were able to locate a good bagpacker type hotel which charged only 300/person/night. We both gave a good look at the hotel premises and decided right away that this was gonna be our place for the next 2 nights. Then, immediately we left the place as we were getting calls from other people as we all had to be at Sagar’s house as “Barat” was ready and about to leave to Dehradun.
The time was around 5:30pm.
We all then made it to Dehradun via bus which was arranged for all the incoming relatives and attended Sagar’s marriage function. We wished him best luck for this new life and immediately returned to Rishikesh via the same bus. The bus departed at around 11:30 pm from the location. We reached Sagar’s house at around 1 am and there after we drove ourselves on bike from that place to hotel. That day also we were late to sleep but there were no worries as we were staying at Rishikesh for another day.
The day which involved the highest level of adventure we had done till now. Most of the people have this adventure sitting in their bucket-list which were were gonna strike it off from our own list.
This was the Bunjee Jumping and all were amateur in this.
With all the excitement, alas! I fell asleep.