Finally, after a long time, we had a good sleep last night. We had reached late from attending Sagar’s marriage and then had to move to a different hotel. We had shifted to a hotel called “Bhandari Swiss Cottage”. I am strongly recommending you this hotel, whenever you will plan to visit Rishikesh.
It is a good secluded hotel away from the crowded parts of Rishikesh. Mostly, foreigners occupy this hotel and the owner is a great person. They have a separate restaurant which offer some great menu.
From the balcony, you get an unobstructed view of the Ganges flowing and if you are a person looking to chill and unwind then this is the place to be. They have a beautiful garden at the front porch where you can soak in all day.
Today, we had planned only 2 major activities. First, being Bungy Jumping and the second one was to attend Sagar’s evening reception in Rishikesh.
For doing the Bungy Jump, you need to book tickets in advance, at least 15 day prior to the date of jump. We had booked the jump on 26th Nov, 16 days in advance. The only reputed and having a great track record agency in Rishikesh to offer Bungy Jump is the “Jumpin Height”. They have till now operated around 70,000 jumps with clean record. We had taken the morning slot.
Link to their website is below:
Myself, Ganesh, Anis bhai had booked the jump. Bimal ji had not. Karan had booked the flying fox and the Giant swing. His doctor had refused to do the jump.
We started for the place at around 10 am. On the google maps it showed a journey of around 45 mins.
Ganesh was riding pillion with Karan and Bimal ji was riding pillion with me. Ganesh’s bike had still not been repaired since 2 days. So, we started for the destination without having breakfast. We had to reach their on time and also the agency does not recommend to have a heavy breakfast before the jump.
We were expecting some rush but no one was there. Hardly 4-5 people. We parked our bikes and went directly inside. In the meantime, it started to drizzle.
We first had to fill the indemnity form and after which we were issued a locker to keep all our belongings safe. There was absolutely nothing to be kept with us. Since, there was no rush, we directly headed towards the jumping bridge.
Bimal ji, stayed back at the office waiting for us. The team has installed a T.V inside the cafeteria which broadcasted live feeds of 100% jumps and so, even if you are not making the jump, you still take in some adventure out from it. The T.V is located in cafeteria at the back.
We had to walk for quite a some time till we arrived at the bridge. The entrance to the bridge is earlier than the office on the main road and so so three of us went walking. We entered the ramp and saw only 2-3 people ahead of us. I knew we were next anytime soon.
I have no words to write currently to describe the emotions flowing through my body at that time. It was a cold morning and I was sure excited as hell seeing the people jumping one after the other. As I am writing this now, the memories of the jump has come to haunt me again. The excitement was at 200% level and as I walked in slowly and slowly towards the jumping ramp, my heart started beating faster. This was my first time jumping like a free form with only a rope to save my ass. It was a sure shot a death game. There were 3 support crews helping to make the jump. First in line was Karan who went for the giant swing and we could clearly hear his scream. Setting up for the jump took around 5-10 minutes and the crew ensured that you were not too nervous about the jump.
Only 2 attempts for the jump were allowed. What it meant was that if you went till the edge of the jumping ramp and backed out then that was considered as 1st attempt. They had clearly told that they would not push you and it is solely on your wish whether you wanna take that jump or not. If you backed out for the second time, then they would tell you to leave.
Then, it was my turn and I was just a few fts from the jumping ramp and then the team started to prep me up. Soft chill type, English songs were playing at the background on a Bluetooth speaker which calmed my senses a little bit. The guys started to ask me general questions about me and what I did for a living. Their normal routine. I answered to all of the questions following which I told them that I was on a entire tour of Uttarakhand and that the trip had just recently started. I also told them that this was my first time for the jump.
Now came the hardest part, I got up from the chair and started to walk slowly slowly at a snail’s pace to the edge of the ramp. There were 3 ropes segregated based on the weight of the person. For me, it was the red one which was the last category and was meant for the heaviest person. I double ensured from them that they had used the right rope.
I was few second away from the jump. They told me to focus on the sign board which was exactly in front of me at eye level but at a distance placed on the road from where we had come. The board was there to focus the person’s attention and so that he does not look down at the rock flowing river which might drain his confidence immediately. But, I looked down for a moment. I wanted to know how much the depth was. Before the jump, while coming we had done the research and the jump was at a height of 83 mtrs and here I was standing at the edge measuring how much 83 mtr looked like. At the back of my mind, the CPU was working at its full power and for a moment of so, I was shit scared. But, somehow I gathered the courage looked at the focusing point and took the leaf of faith.
My mind suddenly went numb. I could only feel the air brushing past heavily against my face and making the hisss sound. For a moment, I felt like a free bird soaring high above the skies before I was brought to reality by the sudden kick back of the elongated rope and now I was moving upwards and then again down.
I kept on oscillating till my amplitude was reduced and I was just reduced to a hanging figure tied to his legs. The crew from above relaxed the rope so that I could go more downwards. They had kept a person at the banks of the river and had kept a huge bed. As I was moving down slowly, the guy handed over to me a big stick so that we can be in contact with each other and he could help me safely land on the bed.
Just, as I removed the harness, I felt light and happy. One of the things in my bucket list had been just ticked off. The fear had completely gone and I was even ready to do a repetition!
I sat on the rocks drinking the juice which the crew had given me and watched Ganesh making the jump. The story was not yet over, we had to to a small hike up to the road at the top. It was a 20 minutes hike. The people at the office has already instructed us that Bunjy jumping was not a piece of cake and involved some serious hike back to the starting place! It was really tiring mainly because we were not prepared and secondly, we didn’t have energy.
Bimal ji greeted us at the top and were were happy. He had seen us all three do the activities on T.V. Karan, then went for the Flying fox which was pending for him while all three of us waited at the restaurant. There was no feed for watching Flying Fox live. Around after an hour, Karan came back and just as we all were sitting comfortably at the cafeteria, Bimal ji got up from the chair and suddenly told us that he wanted to do the Bungy Jump. We were all taken back and shocked.
Initially, he had refused on the grounds of fear but seeing us take the jump, he too wanted to do. He was also on the edge of limits placed by the agency. Your max weight should be 110 kg and max age to be 35. Bimal ji were on boundary wrt both of these categories but still he wanted to do.
Anis bhai too had booked the jump but since his plan took a u-turn in the middle of the trip, the ticket was unused. We requested the authorities to grant the jump to Bimal ji instead of Anis Bhai. They happily obliged. Then it was our turn to wait and watch and Bimal ji got ready for the jump. Few moments later, we could see Bimal ji jumping from the edge and completing it like a pro! After coming back and meeting us, now, he also wanted to do the flying fox. We were less surprised right now as we knew that the real Bimal ji had woken up after that heartbeat-skipping adventure done few minutes back. We knew it was Bimal ji on the flying fox as the rope line was visible from the restaurant and the setup made a whooshing like rocket sound when a person went from Point A to Point B. After around half n hour Bimal ji came back with a heavy smile on his face. He wore a different look now on his face. He was excited and happy and could’t control his emotion. He was thanking us all three for giving him inspiration and courage. He also thought, it was now or never which also played a significant part for him to undertake the adventure.
We after then collected our certificates and our own jump videos. They are not included in the package and comes at a cost. Video costs around 750 rs written inside a C.D. We bought Jumpin Heights T-shirt too as a thing of memento.
This whole movie got over around 4 pm and we were on our return journey now. After reaching Rishikesh we directly went to the place where Ganesh’s bike was given for servicing. Finally, they had figured out the root cause of the puncture and we could see Ganesh smiling. In the meantime, I too took a proper glance at the bike since this was the perfect time. From tomorrow, were we going to travel large distances and I was not going to take any chance after seeing what Ganesh had suffered. I saw that my rear Michelin Sirac had completely worn out and so I decided to buy a new tyre since I had a long journey of more than 12 days ahead and solo!
In the meantime, we munched on a pack of Bun and Chai as we were really hungry and deprived of solid good food. The food at the Jumpin Heights was costly and also the options were limited.
I found a popular ‘Bullet’ mechanic just a few mtrs ahead from where we were standing. The shop name was ‘Lucky’. He looked quite popular among the riders/travelers considering his entire shop wall covered with photos and medals and trophies won over the years in the motorcycling field. They also have won the ‘Raid de Himalaya’ with the help of an international rider. I forgot the year in which they did. Left to you to find out and tell me.
But, with such credentials under the belt, I knew I had come to the right place. I told him to replace the rear tyre but, after a few heavy breathing But, with such credentials under the belt, I knew I had come to the right place. I told him to replace the rear tyre but, after a few heavy breathing thoughts running haywire in my mind, I decided to make a stepney out of rear tyre. I knew that riding solo in the mountains was gonna be difficult and since this was my first time riding solo, I didn’t want to take any chances. I had seen what Ganesh had been through for the last couple of days and if the same thing would happen with me, it wouldn’t have been much closer than a nightmare. Fearing, I prepared a spare wheel and mounted my old tyre on that. I kept that as a stepney knowing that it was easy to just remove and replace than remove and repair. The jungles of Uttarkhand are teeming with wildlife. Not to scare you, but you never know and why should you take any chances if you have got time for preparation. Prevention is always better than cure.
With all this running in our minds, we decided to not attend Sagar’s reception as we were not completely ready for tomorrow’s journey and instead decided to focus on our bikes.
It was almost 8 pm and we also had issued a new rental bike for Bimal Ji. Only Bimal ji and Anis Bhai had taken rental bike from Rishikesh for which the expiry date was today. Anis Bhai’s bike has already been submitted. The owner was going to come and pick the bike up and same was the case for Bimal Ji and hence he had rode pillion with me. “Lucky” got very lucky for us as he managed to issue a rental bike for Bimal ji. The deal was done and it was agreed that the bike was going to be returned at Haridwar and not Rishikesh. This made our tomorrow’s journey set and we all headed home with the new bike.
We all got fresh and decided to move out again. Today was our last day in Rishikesh and still some places were left for us to see. We all wanted to see the lit ‘Laxman Jhula’ which we had seen first when we arrived in the city late night on 10th of Dec.
So, after we all got freshen up we headed straight for the bridge with our camera and stuff. The photo of myself with the bridge was not to be missed and was in my temporary bucket list since last 2 days!
We spent quite a time taking photographs near to the bridge. We had completely forgotten about the time and when we started to return from the place and search for a restaurant so that we can have a good full meal, we were shocked!
It looked like the city had gone dead or the population just somehow vanished. Nobody could be seen on the roads, none of the shop looked open. We tried really hard but failed. We were now nearby our own hotel and still no luck. Hoping to find something ahead, we continued further. After making some rounds back and forth and being rejected 2-3 times for no food, we finally managed to find one with stock and who was just about to close his shop. We requested him to offer what ever he had at the moment. The good thing was, we ate hot food as the rotis were being made baked freshly and served. We didn’t knew how to thank him and everyone ate to their full capacity. We ate Kidney beans along with Roti and Rice. He was really our savior for the day and ensured that we did not sleep empty stomach. Normally, in small cities like these, it is better to have dinner earlier as people close the shop very early. A good lesson learnt!
We thanked him once again, paid the bill and left the place. Back at the hotel, it was high time to sleep and tomorrow we had a long drive to Corbett which was around 140 kms. The distance was long as compared to what we had ridden in past 3-4 days. We also needed some rest to recover from today’s never forgetting adventure.
The time was around midnight and finally we slept.