Destination: Rishikesh (Rafting)
When: April 2010 (Weekend)
Who: 9 of us
Stayed: Stayed at the Milestones Camp (Beach number 18). The camps were quite nice, just what one needs for a rafting trip. Its not luxurious or anything and serves the purpose just right. Toilets are also quite decent. However, come prepared for mosquitos. The place houses 11 tents with double occupancy, and it gets really hot inside those tents. So always a better idea to sleep outside under the skies! It costs around Rs. 3,000 per person for a 3D/2N trip including 2 stretches of rafting.
Transport: By road the journey is PAINFUL to say the least. Make sure you have great company. The highway is worst than the service lanes of gurgaon and you will not average more than 25kmph on the entire stretch. Best option (and also the hardest to get) will be train. Take one to Haridwar, post which its a 2 hrs drive to the camp.
But wait, there is a catch. When you raft, you are supposed to come back to the camp on your own. Thats simple if you have your own conveyance, and hiring a cab there will cost a lot. (We had to hire a driver and that itself cost us 600 for 2 days, the cab will be atleast 3 times more).
A Catch-22 situation…but deal with it.
Food: Milestones serves good food. Home cooked and yummy. You wont eat anywhere else…so thats pretty much it.
1. Rafting: The usual itinerary is that you raft from Marine Drive to Shivpuri on Day 1 and Shivpuri to LaxmanJhula on day 2. Rafting is safe for non-swimmers as well (I am one of them) but the deal is not to panic. Yes, you will not feel any ground beneath your feet when you are in water, but take the plunge and enjoy the current.
There is also a stretch called THE WALL, which is meant to be attempted only by swimmers or swimmers with balls of steels. We were neither!
Rafting is a fantastic exercise. We loved every bit of it. Each raft accommodates 6-9 people depending on the size, and its most fun if the entire raft is yours. It does strain you physically but you will enjoy every moment of it!
2. Cliff Jump: The highlight of the trip. You jump from some 30 odd feet…not a lot…but it takes the hell out of you to do it. We all did it around 2 times each and each time the feeling was just the same. HIGHLY recommended!
3. Random Jazz (rappelling, rock climbing): Will be part of the camp. Do it if you enjoy the stuff, but chances are you wont have the energy to do so!