"Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge
This is how My mind could best describe the river rafting experience.
The water was fresh water, so not exactly undrinkable like the quote. However, I did have my share of it
Long time since I tasted a lil bit of adventure in life, So I signed up for a trip to Kolad, a small hill station near Raigarh, Maharashtra. From the word 'go' the trip seemed to have the right spirit, With all, and within all. The train journey was great. knowing almost no one on the trip has more advantages than disadvantages I say. There were so many times when I have discovered some amazing companions, and this trip was no less. Played Uno until my eyes hurt, and 'bluffed' my way through some fun moments!
On reaching Chembur, Mumbai we got into a bus which took us to Kundalini River, Kolad. The Camp River Wild, had enough rafts and guides arranged for us. All geared up in our helmets and life jackets and with an oar in hand we walked towards the river.
The water level was rising as it rained. River Kundalika is fed by waters released from Mulshi Dam and Bhira dam and provides 9 km rafting location with class 3 and class 4 rapids. As the best time to visit here, is the monsoon, when the water levels are good for rafting. However, what is interesting to know is that depending on levels of water, rafting can be done rest of the year as well.
Quickly Dividing ourselves into groups of 8, we stood close to our rafts. The thought of stepping into the water, gushing with all its strength gave me quite a chill in the spine. However, all the time i could not understand how am i going to raft in seconds? Am I tall enough, does my body have enough strength, what about swimming? I cant swim!!, and what about rocks , I could hit one and die forever... etc etc (like some people died for the time being :D)
It was surprising to see that how efficiently we were given a pronto training of how to handle the raft, the oar and all the safety guidelines. Along with that the forward peddle, the back peddle and then the wait and to just rest the oar on your knees and enjoy!
The rafting is done over an 8 kms stretch, a journey filled with high thrills over rapids lasting almost three hours. The thrill of River Rafting can hardly be explained in writing. You have to feel it to believe it.
One moment is all quiet, you are in control. Your breathing is slow, normal. The next you loose all control and the water takes it from there! Heart races, you forget breathing. The thrill of working in a team, keeping in pace with your self and the water. There is just so much that I felt in that raft than what these words allow me to I say. The water sprays, splashing at you as the raft finds its way - tingling you.
In time you are so spent that you are suddenly thirsty for the cold cutting water that you are ready to drown yourself, just so that you get to feel it in return. I realized what an irony it is. This is the same water you were scared to get into a lil while back, and now you want it to completely cover you. 'Drench you, drown you.' :)
The best was after crossing the rapids, the river turned much to quiet. That was the time when all of a sudden like an earthquake we were all thrown into the water. All my fears of what lay beneath came to life with the mangroves on both the river banks. All i could think of was crocodiles. Really? Fresh water crocs samie? :)
Anyways, a swim (more like floating in the water, as the water carries us to the shore) for more than an hour was just the thing that quenched my body's thirst for the water. The adventure had come to an end, just like it had started.
Post this the highlights of the trip included
- Reaching Doctors Farm
- The color Green
- Rain. Wet. cold. Breeze. Quiet.
- Living in bamboo dorms
- Meeting some great people
- Some common interests shared.
- Lotus in the pond
- The crows on the roofs
- The trek in the wilderness
- The food.
- The sleep I had
- Finding myself
- Realizing myself
- Loving myself
- Discovering myself.
- Living Myself.