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Floaters...

ADVENTURE is an integral part of my life. To me it is ‘A divine venture. In my childhood doing a wheelie or slow cycling thrilled me. I even used to ride my cycle on under construction roads in order to maintain balance and take it as far as I could without touching my feet down. These small ventures of mine gave me a much required confidence boost & added stars to my self-reliance. And as I grew up, so did my thirst for the escapades!

Last year I was on a spree of treks and adventure sports. I started with moonlight rappelling at Duke’s Nose, then a trek filled with Fireflies at Rajmachi, later on I trekked to Kalsubai at the top of the highest peak in Maharashtra. River Rafting at Kundalika River in Kolad was an intermission to my adventure last year, which without any doubt will continue this time.

River Rafting is a very special page in my life’s dairy. Not because it was my idea and that I pulled my friends along with me but this particular experience tested me on my weaknesses. 


We started off early morning around 4am taking the bus to Kolad, picking up my lucky friends who managed an extra hour of sleep as they lived at the outskirts of the Mumbai city. Throughout the bus journey, we enjoyed singing songs whilst passing through the lush green patches of land, truly a gift of the rainy season, my favourite amongst all! Being a foodie, a stop at a local shop serving us ‘Misal-Pav’ and ‘Cutting Chai’ was inevitable. It was a delight to my tummy in this awesome weather. As per my memory, we went past a Gas Station. Before getting closer to it this is what I saw:

Copyright 2015 - Abhishek Gorale
To my imagination it looked like the “Eye of Sauron” - Lord of the Rings. *Wide Grin*

We reached Kolad at around 11am. It was drizzling as we reached the river. We suited up with life-jacket, helmet and a paddle in hand. Our instructor was very polite and precise with his instructions. One specific directive I still recall is, how to actually hold the paddle for firm grip so that we don’t lose it while rowing in the rapids. It has a ‘T’ shaped handle which gives a firm grip on the paddle as well as it can be used to pull someone back on the raft just in case he/she falls out. Yes!! People do fall out during rapids.

There we were 10 of us in the raft along with our captain (instructor) sitting at the back to guide the direction of the raft as well as command us in this rapid voyage. Before we actually hit the rapids we were given practise of rowing to get a feel of it.

And boy, we set our course for the main stream. Whoa!! It was such a thrill. It was bumpy ride; with water splashing from all sides. The best efforts were put into staying on the raft and hearing the instructions from the captain in the chaos. In between there were normal patches were there was ‘splash war’ between us and the fellow rafts. There were many instances where we bumped into the trees at the side of the river. Going ahead on this rough route we learned that we need to work as a team. #together we were strength and shield for each other. The pace and steadiness of raft was admirable when both the sides of the raft rowed in unison.

After completion of all the rapids, came the testing time of my courage. Captain ordered us to jump off the raft. There it was, my moment of truth/realization. I can’t swim!! Though I was wearing life jacket still I was scared like hell to get in water, forget about jumping in!! Somehow I gathered my courage and sheepishly got into the water, still holding the raft. My friends were constantly asking me to come and float freely. But I just couldn’t. I could feel my breathing turn heavy which I dismissed with the sight of my friends having fun floating.

That’s when two of my friends came from nowhere and grabbed my hands taking me away from the raft. I screamed but they paid no heed. Friends are friends after all!! After a few seconds I realized that I wasn’t drowning. The way they were swimming holding me firmly and assuring me that everything is just fine and that I am WEARING A LIFE JACKET infused some confidence in me. To my surprise I asked them to leave me but stay close enough. It was still drizzling; I controlled my breathing soon realising that I was feeling light. Soon enough I was flowing with the time.

I was floating with my hands stretched outward and head facing up the grey sky. I could hear silence. It was peace/pure solitude!! For the first time in my life I felt I was breathing, I was alive. 


I floated back clumsily towards the raft once done. Finally we got a click of our group with our accomplishment a sure one to remember forever.



This adventure would have never been enjoyed to its fullest without my floater or rather I would say floaters. My Friends!! 


Many thanks to https://housing.com/ for letting me experience the strength being #together once again.

Comments

  1. Nice write up. Thank you for refreshing "River rafting" memories once again..Had fun to the fullest.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You :)
      Yes it was one hell of a ride :D :D :D

      Delete

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