A unique adventure in a serene hamlet – river rafting in Rishikesh
Posted by The Wandering Pen on December 3rd, 2020
I’ve always been outdoorsy and am up for any challenge. Be it plunging down from an airplane or trekking up in the deepest corners of the Himalayas, I’ve done everything that pushes me to a new limit; it excites me. Go big or go home has always been my motto, which is why I never paid any heed to river rafting in Rishikesh. What’s a boat got that I can’t handle? But when my brother pleaded with me to join him on his Rishikesh rafting trip because his friend bailed on him, I agreed, not expecting to be put in my place by ferocious rapids and gushing waves.
We went in the warm month of April, but the river water was still chilling. Many of the Rishikesh rafting packages had the thrilling option of camping close to the river, and thankfully that’s what my brother and his MIA friend had booked. We drove down to Rishikesh in our car and pulled into the gorgeous campsite. Everything around us was so green and refreshing, the air almost too clean and the blissful sound of the river gushing in the distance was like a cherry on top.
We checked in and spent the day strolling in the wilderness surrounding the campsite and then resting for the big day ahead. I spoke to the camp operator and he shared some pretty wild Rishikesh rafting stories, warning me about some ferocious rapids like The Wall and the Return to the Sender. I had no idea it would be this intense. I mean, even the names sounded scary to a three-time skydiver and certified scuba diver.
The next morning, we made our way to the start point, marking the beginning of our first time river rafting in Rishikesh. We were handed our gear and briefed about the safety rules as we clambered onto the raft. We were accompanied by a group of four friends who had been rafting before, so my novice self started to grow a tad bit nervous. Soon, our guide asked us to begin paddling and I shoved my worries away so I could enjoy the experience. It was easy to spot where, in the distance, the teal river churned into white due to the roaring rapids. It was deafening but the guide bellowed over the sound and asked us to brace ourselves as the rapid thrashed our raft and drenched us in icy cool water. My heart was thumping out of my chest, but that’s how I knew I was alive and ready to take on more and more rapids over the next two hours!
We all let out our battle cries as we struggled to paddle past each rapid that came at us. My brother almost fell off the boat, thanking his lucky stars when he managed to regain balance and stay onboard. My arms were hurting from vigorously paddling for so long, but eventually, we entered calm waters again.
The guide asked us if we’d like to take a dip in the river and we jumped at the chance. We just floated on the water, enjoying the warm sunshine on our faces and the sights of Rishikesh all around us.
We headed back home from our amazing trip of river rafting in Rishikesh. With a heavy heart, I said my goodbyes and when I lay down to sleep that night, it felt like my body was still moving to the rhythm of the river. I could close my eyes and see the rapids coming at me, demanding my attention and asking me to fight back. To be so engaged in the present made me feel more alive than any other adventure I’ve done. The river won my heart over and I can’t wait to go back soon!
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About the AuthorThe Wandering Pen
Joined: December 1st, 2020
Articles Posted: 27
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