Part two tomorrow.
Broken Railway Bogey on Way to Haridwar
Hey all, I recently took a rafting trip which changed my life and changed me as a person. This is the account of that trip.
I wanted only a chill trip. Where I could sit by the river, eat good food, talk to friends, watch the fish in the water, see the sun rise/set from among the hills and such idyllic stuff. What I got was a raft on some of the most dangerous waters I’ve seen in my life, cold waters, hot sand, irritating sounds of the river, drunk people on the sandy beach, and a weird journey back home. In all, it was as awesome as it can be.
I started for Haridwar with a detour to Delhi because the friends I was going with had booked all our tickets from there. I could have gone by bus to Rishikesh and caught up with them, but for the sake of simplicity and pure feeling, we decided that we’d all leave from Delhi together. I left early night, reached Delhi early morning, and from there, we got on a train for Haridwar. The journey was OK, even though the people from NOH 2011 (some group in absurdly yellow shirts) did their level best to make the trip hell for everyone present in the compartment. They were playing a stupid game called Mafia. Only one person in their group knew the rules and rest of them just floundered along. They were loud, obnoxious people. I had the misfortune of talking to one of them and who told me that they were also going for rafting to Shivpuri, but fortunately not at the camp where we were going.
We reached Haridwar. The railway station was like any Indian railway station, only with more people. I saw all the people just sprawling where they could find space and felt a part of my heart go out for them. There were no babies to accidently kick around on the railway station, so that desire was left unfulfilled. We exited the railway station, stepping carelessly over the people who were sprawled here and there. An old man was standing near the gate with a piece of cardboard that had the printed name of our tour leader. The name was misspelled, but we excused that little instance of misdemeanor and went with the guy to the tata sumo that was tastily warmed in the harsh sun for our journey further towards the camp on the shore of river Ganga.
After a horribly hot, sweaty and sleepy sumo ride, we reached our camp. It was below the level of the road. A series of broken and unmade steps led to the camp. The first thing I noticed there was the sand. There was too much of it. And it was hot. Some of it got in my shoes with the first few steps I took on the sandy beach. The camp manager was a skinny dude who informed us about the camp. The place to take a shit, the unavailability of electricity or mobile signals, that we should not trip on the tent ropes and fall, and we should not enter the river without life jackets. They showed us our tents that were also roasting hot. I could have cooked an egg on that sand, it was that hot. I had to spend almost the next two days here. With no mobile signal and the battery of my phone almost down to three bars out of seven. I switched off my cell and put it in my bag. Changed into a pair of Bermudas and floaters. I was ready for the river. Or was I?