A rafting experience

river rafting

River rafting with our regiment!! This was one expedition I will never forget. Posted in Pathankot at the time.  I remember hubby had his knee all swollen and bandaged up because of basketball. The regiment decided to go for a picnic somewhere in the higher reaches of Himachal. In this picnic was included a rafting trip which was to start at 11 am and finish a little down the river by 1.00 for lunch. There were 4 pontoons and about 14 of us (one 80 year old parent, one 8 month old baby).

We set off- in our raft was the only officer amongst all to have ever done any kind of white water training! Since it was to last only 2 hours we were carrying nothing but ourselves and life jackets which were forced upon us. Now began the fun. No one even told us how to hold the oars and what to do with them. We went swinging down the river completely clueless- suddenly there would be one rapid we would hold on for dear life- the pontoon would turn the other way- so we were facing the wrong way down the rapid- and then would kind of crash into the huge boulders before being thrown back into the river to relook if all were aboard before the next one. This madness continued for quite a while. The river would ease up a bit, we would merrily paddle along, get thrown about in the rapid and so on. Then around 1.00 pm we started looking out for signs of the regiment and the lunch tent. I mean we looked for a real long time. ….

The river and the winding hills were endless. There was no sign of another human or should I say anything living for miles around us. We would also lose sight of the other pontoons. Please recall we had not a drop of water to drink. The hot sun beat down on us. If you think we were having a bad time- think again- this was the fun bit- morning stretched into the afternoon- the river had slowed down- we needed to paddle and row hard to move along. The jokes kinda wore thin. Mobiles didn’t exist then – remember? Afternoon went into the evening. The hot sun now seemed to be dipping behind the hills and there was a distinct chill in the air. Chill turned chillier and we were wet and shivering by them (all of us had taken a dunking at sometime in the rapids). The river definitely did not look friendly at night. The steep gorges and wooded hillsides looked menacing at times. We were, by then, unable to see the rocks which loomed up unexpectedly.

We finally met our gang of friends who were dry and on land, at 8 pm along the same river- they had given up on us as lost or dead- but happily reunited to a lot of hugging and a big bonfire!! 

A trip to remember.

Comments 5 comments

sabu singh profile image

sabu singh 6 years ago

Very interesting Billy. I am sure you have many more episodes to write about. Keep them coming.

festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Awesome. I went White water rafting in West Virginia last year and had such an amazing time!

billy sidhu profile image

billy sidhu 6 years ago Author

It is fun and you never know whats around the next bend!!

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Wow! What an adventure! I have never been white water rafting but would like to try it sometime.

Thanks for sharing this experience.

Love and peace


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

Billy, I like the way you describe the river and the sun and the rapids. I have been on several rafting trips and some float trips as well- we always have to carry water and load up on the sunscreen! Occasionally someone is tossed out of the raft, too- a bit disconcerting in rapids, and dangerous. Happily, you managed to get through it all and have a tale to tell!!!

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