Mesmerizing. Breathtaking. Enchanting. Fulfilling. Enticing. These adjectives may not be fully able to justify the experience I had at Kolad with White Water Rafting. High time that I realized there was just so much that I wanted to do!! Wanted to go in there, give my best and experience a feeling that can only be felt and not put in words. (read the awareness here) 😉
I always had an adventurous bone in me. Crazy rides, breath taking adventures that gave an ‘awwww…’ feeling always made me think, “will I be able to do it??” But after a panic attack in one of the swimming (read: drowning) experiences in Goa had left me hydrophobic!! 😳 Initially I always was excited during an adventure sport, be it a water sport or an aerial one or a one on land! Elements never mattered to me until I was sure that the operators are safe and have no real records of accidents!!! But the Goa event had left me dreaded by water sports and had gifted me with hydrophobia! I got paranoid about death by drowning. Silly me! It just shows how much effect a 5 second panic can have on your entire life.
However, I was adamant to get out of this! And thus the next thing I thought about was a water adventure. What better than White Water Rafting on the Kundalika river and that too when monsoons had thought of down pouring its entire capacity. So, we started early at 4.30 AM on a Sunday morning to avoid the weekend traffic and to reach the rafting site on time. It took us a little more than 3 and a half hours to reach the place. But the climate was so fabulous that the drive (inspite the HUGE and infamous Mumbai potholes) was enriching! Rains, cool breeze, the thick fog and the amazing waterfalls made our journey a picturesque one! And the added advantage is always the gang you are travelling with! Close friends and less fussy people you have around makes the trip an amazing one!
When we reached the rafting site, we were greeted by almost 100 other enthusiastic rafters and the rafting operators and guides. We were quickly taken to the spot where they helped us with the rafting gear- the floats, helmets and oars! Just 10 mins and voila!!!! We were already looking like professional rafters!! Each group had been assigned a designated guide who taught us the techniques and the orders to be followed when he commands (Front row, back row, stop, go down). There was a hollow in the pit of my stomach when he explained ‘what to do when you fall off the raft‘ God!! I was so damn scared that I felt puckish and considered backing out! But a great gang and a super great Mr. Husband with chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya made me stick to the original rafting plan!!! (with fingers crossed)
Then it all began! The Main Movie. The breathtaking rafting! The Kundalika was in full form and was flowing furiously as if mocking and inviting the rafters. But I took it as if it was saying: Don’t worry,I am not angry and I’ll not drown you but you surely be etched with a lifetime memory. Accompanying the river, we had the Rain Gods who were pouring joyously!!! And this was the moment, which made me feel: Now there is no going back!!! Adrenaline kicked off and I was adamant not to let fear grip me and to TRY to follow the instructions and not to drown! Once the fear is out, all that the adrenaline rush gives you is Pure bliss!
We had to travel a distance of 12 km in the water. Initially the flow was calm, helping us to practice rowing and following the guides instructions. The main thing started when the waves formed. And believe me, that was a sight which cannot be put in words. The Huge waves, its roars and the tilting of the raft, with a fear that one error and they are ready to swallow you!!! It leaves no room for even a silly mistake and all you do is fight through it!! They leave you spell bound. Once the 10-12 minutes of the rapid waves are gone you feel as if they were here just to play with us! And make merry! Amazing experience. You want more of them but they are left back. Now, there is a flowing river and you have to get off the raft and swim!!! Again I had my mouth in my heart! Omigosh!!! Being a non swimmer makes it a worst idea to swim in a depth of 40 feet! But, the great gang of close friends and Mr. Husband (yes, the same reason for my panic attack) was really patient and much to my astonishment, I believed him and was out in the water with just a float on! Surprise! Surprise! I did not drown and enjoyed the swim so much that I wasn’t ready to board the raft again!!! LOL!
If you are enticed enough by this post, I would urge all of you out there not to miss this activity! Nature will leave you spell bound! I risked hydrophobia and was rewarded with a life time experience!!! My Mantra: Fear is just an assumption. And ya, go with a gang you love, it adds bonus to the trip!
A weekend well spent! Blessed.