I hadn’t taken a break in over two years, so when I found a river rafting and camping package on MakeMyTrip, I knew I had found at least one of the activities I wanted to enjoy during my seven-day break that I was planning to take.
Though the adventurer in me is a little rusty with the monotony of work and life having taken over for the past few years, I decided that the solo travel I undertook this time would comprise part-adventure and (then perhaps to cool off the adrenalin) part-pampering. And what better place to roll out the adventurer in me than in Rishikesh, swaying to the revving energies of the rapids that the Ganges offers amidst the majestic Himalayas!
One of my initial concerns was the drop in the temperature in the water because, well, it was December when I chose to take my break! So be it, I decided. Because river rafting, here I come! Then again, I didn’t want to get caught up in my excitement and walk out with broken bones, so I chose the MakeMyTrip Brahmapuri–Rishikesh river rafting package. I joined a group of strangers who seemed as excited and nervous as I did—grade one: a distance of 9 km, suitable for any age group, and a mere 1.5 hours. That would leave me with enough energy to figure if I’d want to go back to it.
But before our collective excitements got ahead of us, instructors laid down some of the rules: fitness is paramount and health check-ups essential. Kit up with life jackets and river sandals or shoes. Abide by all rules and regulations and follow the guide’s instructions for safety. Always. No intoxicants to be consumed before the ride. Paddle as a team, not individually.
Read more: How to Spend 24 Hours in Rishikesh
Once instructions were done with, I got in with the others slotted for the boat at Brahmapuri, settling in with a whole lump of nervousness caught between my throat and the smile I braved to flash for the world outside. And we were off! So ideal for beginners, rafting is conducted in shallow waters where even non-swimmers can survive with grade-one rapids, which involve lesser manoeuvring techniques and skillsets.
About an hour and a half of giving into the swaying, rolling and pitching of the Ganges, which started off at Brahmapuri, our boat had levelled off at Rishikesh. But suddenly, I remember wanting it to go on. Oh, so there’s more river-rafting lining up in my mind, I knew. Maybe the next grade then, I assured myself.
Despite the strung-out body, my mind was on a high like I have never known. For a moment, I could see why this could get addicting for some.
I changed into my warm clothes and was led to the most soothing sight of all. Food—laid out enticingly on a long buffet table. The air was filled with a celebratory note, but my empty stomach merely growled in vengeance. And even as I could hear the guitars strumming to well-rehearsed high notes of songs playing in the background, all I could find myself doing was moving from one dish to another, satiating my hunger. Of course, the smile of contentedness on my face didn’t go off the whole evening even as the campfire glowed on into the late night.
MakeMyTrip Package I Booked: Rishikesh—Rafting and Dinner around a Bonfire
Price Paid: INR 10,672*
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