ALAKNANDA RAFTING EXPEDITION CLASS 12
We all reached school on time, not wanting to miss even one second of our last camp. We boarded the buses to the railway station and thus began our journey. We took the Mussoorie express to Haridwar. The train journey was undoubtedly long but we passed the time, without sleeping a wink. On reaching Haridwar, we took buses to our base camp which was Shivpuri Jungle. Over here, we were briefed about various details for the next 5 days.
We left our base camp and drove down to Srinagar , the ancient capital of the Garhwal district. It was here that our rafting expedition commenced, on River Alaknanda. We had to cover a distance of 18 kilometres, and we did, despite our fussing and laziness.
We reached our first destination, Baghban, where tents had already been pitched for us. After a long day of “hard work” nothing tasted better than chai and hot pakoras. Here we played volleyball and many other games, and we all found ways to entertain ourselves.
We woke up early next morning, looking forward to our 40 kilometre journey down to Kaudiyala. After covering half the distance, we stopped at Devprayag which is the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda and ate packed lunch here. We lazed in the sun until we were asked to continue our journey. On this stretch, we faced some difficulties as though we were moving downstream, we were facing upstream wind. So we rowed and rowed with all our strength till we finally reached Kaudiyala. We had a lot of free time so we played and bonded, with teachers and friends. We slept in shelters made out of our rafts so that we could be exposed to the (freezing cold) jungle life.
We awoke the next morning to the sound of an extremely loud whistle, blown by one of our very own. All were excited as today, we were given coffee and not tea. We were to face the most dangerous rapid today – the wall. We had all heard a lot about it, and definitiely it was worth all of its hype. It was one of the best experiences of our camp. This night, we stayed in luxury tents. The tents were massive, and we had to fit only 4 in a tent. We got to sleep with pillows and quilts, one of the highlights of this trip. There was a huge bonfire, where we sang for hours. And this being our last camp, we were allowed to stay out till 12. We were all sad when we got up the next morning, as it was our last day. Nevertheless we looked forward to the upcoming rapids. Golf course, Three Blind Mice and Roller Coaster, only to mention a few. These rapids put the “adventure” back in into our adventure camp.
We reached our base camp and left for the Haridwar station. None of us slept on the way back as we wanted to savour every minute of the 8 hour journey of our very last camp. All in all, this camp was definitely a great learning experience for all of us, and we could not have asked for anything more.
Disha Brara XII-C