Today, our plan was to go for white water river rafting. As the organizer had asked, we reached at their office at 8.30 am. Initially, we were only 2 in the cab which was supposed to take us to Chilling, the starting point of rafting.
On the way, the cab driver picked up 3 more persons, Ronan from UK, Jagdish and Asha from Delhi.
After a drive of 2 hours, we arrived at Chilling. It was around 11 am.
They had life jackets and wet suits for us to keep us safe from drowning. The leader of our raft gave us brief instructions about the safety and the use of paddle to give direction and speed to the raft. There was a kayaker as well for our safety.
Around 11.30 am, we started our rafting expedition. In the beginning , the water current was not so fast and rapids were also not that hard to pass. So, everybody was relaxed and busy in giving pose for photo shootouts.
Suddenly, there came one big rapid. Since, our raft was not in good speed, it could not punch through the rapid and it flipped throwing all of us in water. For first a few seconds, I did not understand what had happened. When I realized that I was in water, I was in shock. Then, I started looking for the raft. It was 2-3 meters away from me. Suraj was behind me. Later, he told me, he could not swim upwards for some time because of some obstacle above his head.
I held his hand and we were trying to get to the raft. After some time, we reached up to the raft. But, the raft was still in flipped position and we were flowing along with the raft.
Major problem were the cold water and rocks in the riverbed. The kayaker asked us to keep our head and legs above water to avoid any mishaps due to rocks.
After 5 minutes, the raft leader started to flip back the raft. He asked to leave the rope attached to the raft. As I left the rope, I went away from the raft due to the speed of the flow. Next 5 minutes, we all were in the raft.
There was a bad news too. When the raft flipped, the cameras drowned in the river. Sterling directed the raft on river shore for some rest. Most of us were shivering due to cold water. Ronan had a small cut on his nose. Rest of us were in good condition.
After some rest of 10-15 minutes, we started again. Later, we had 3-4 such rapids. However, this time, we were ready to face such situation. It was really amazing and thrilling experience to pass through those rapids. You need to really push hard to pass through them.
It was 2 and half hours of journey before we arrived at Nimoo.
We changed the wet clothes. Meanwhile, lunch was ready. We had our lunch leisurely as we were really hungry.
Return journey was pretty quite after some initial chat. Between, Asha insisted to gift us a new camera, as she was holding our camera when the raft flipped and she was feeling guilty about it . After buying a new camera, we headed back to our room and Asha and Jagdish went to make inquiry about their return journey to Manali.
There was a bad news. The inner line permit was not ready yet as the DC office was closed because of the holiday (Hemis monastery festival). The agent told us that he would arrange it till 11 am, the next day.
Rest of the day we spent doing nothing much. Just wondering around and dinner.
Next day, we had to head to Nubra valley after collecting the permit.