WHITEWATER RAFTING IN THE GANGA
When in Rishikesh one has to take a boat trip on the Ganga. For around Rs. 400 you get a 3-4 hour trip. A jeep will bring you with a boat up the river. There are many booking agents in Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula. With a little shopping around and faking you got a low price in another shop, you will be able to get a good price.
Everybody gets to wear a swimming vest and a plastic helmet. This isn’t a unnecesary precaution. Just the other day a boat tipped over and everyone got in the water at a fast streaming part of the river. It tipped because too little people were actually peddeling. If there is no thrust the ‘kaptain’ has a hard time to steer the boat. Noone got injured, but that was considered luck. People in India have no licences and safety measures are mostly up to yourself.
I felt goofy with the plastic hat on my head but then everybody was wearing them. I can swim like a rat and the swimming vest is clumsy, but the better half of me convinced me it was maybe a little safer with the gear. I had a nice team. Carmen went with me and a couple of girls and an Indian couple were in the boat. I attached some small balloons to my GoPro stick so if I would loose it, it would keep floating.
The boat tip is great. There are some 5 places in the river where the water goes fast and wild. We have to paddle like crazy to get through the rough and rocky river and water is gushing in the boat. If you planned to stay dry you better forget that. The boat is kicking like a horse and evreyone is screaming and laughing with enthousiasm. I sat in front. There is a space to but your foot under a flap so you don’t get kicked out of the boat. Making pictures and filming while going through rough water wasn’t approved by our captain. It was paddling or filming for me and I really wanted to use the occasion to get some nice shots.
We had some long parts of calm water inbetween the wild parts where we were suggested to jump out and have a swim. The water is still moving fast so we were hanging on some ropes tight to the boat. The water is icy cold but we didn’t care. It is great to swim a bit before getting into a fight with the river again. We had some time to get to know eachother and found ourselves in a small place where many worlds met.
Halfway there is a stop next to a big rock. Many boats are laying there and crowds are trying to get on the rock to jump down. Some people are selling Chai and some food for the hungry. I tried to get on the big rock but it was crowded. There were people thinking way too long if they would jump or not. I went up on the lower part and took a jump while having my GoPro film me. That didn’t even take a second! LOL. Well, it was good to sit in the sun with Carmen with some tea. The whole thing really is a great experience and thinking of it I would like to do it again right now.
Nobody got injured and nothing got lost. We floated towards the Laxman Jhula hanging bridge where the booking office had a docking place where the boat was lifted out of the water. We were back on land, wet and satisfied.
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