Joke: Hey so do you have any other weekend trips coming up? I wanted to do another weekend trip before I head back home
Rand: Actually I was thinking of taking a trip up North to Rishikesh to spend a weekend camping on the River.
Joke: Hmm….. sign me up.
Just like that; there was no extra convincing needed and about 2 weeks later Rand and I were on our way to spend a weekend camping along the Ganges river in a city called Rishikesh. I remember while Rand was booking the trip the travel agent kept asking; you want to go camping? you are sure you don’t want to stay in a hotel? its going to be very basic, think 1 star.. no wifi, no electricity, its going to be as rugged as it get. Rand and I didn’t even blink we just said yes. We had an unplugged weekend were we just chilled, read, met new people, and had an amazing time experiencing the river.
As soon as we landed in Dehradun I knew we were in for a treat. The terrain was different from Delhi, it was a lot of hills, winding roads, and views of the magnificent river. See Rishikesh is located where the Ganges comes down from the Himalayas so it was clean mountain air, and the enthralling beauty of the Ganges river. For a lot of Indian’s, the river is said to be holy and possess healing powers. (People from all over the country journey up North to Rishikesh just to dip in the river, and they take bottle of it back home with them for use as holy water)
True to the travel agents words it was rugged camping. Our guides had lanterns for us to use when it got dark, they built a camp fire, where we all had dinner and we chatted with some of the people we met. I remember falling asleep the first night to the calming sound of the river flowing. I kept thinking to myself.. God please don’t let the river stop flowing, lol I know who thinks that, although if it did and this was the last thing I heard I think I could die in a happy place. I will admit I was a bit scared at night because there were woods behind where our camps was set up and throughout the day we had heard animals, and off course the night has her share of sounds.
The next day we went white water rafting… It was amazing. We went through about 7 or 8 different rapids, all with different names. There was a body surfing rapid where we all got into the water and allowed the water just take us with it. Amazing feeling!!! At some point we all got out of our rafts and just floated along the river for about 20 mins. Towards the end we stopped to jump off a cliff. lol Yes.. I climbed my way to the top and jumped off. It was amazing but oh please don’t jump off a cliff and think its a good idea to land in the water on your butt… bad idea as I learned later as I spent the next two days with a sore booty. ( I have also since then learned that I am horrible at jumping off things… as my family so kindly pointed out during our trip in the cayman islands where I apparently horribly and almost dangerously jumped off the boat into the water… point taken.. I’m learning now how to jump off things and not just fall off things.. lol)
Unfortunately Rand ended up losing his camera in the river so we lost a lot of the pictures he took, but I think we both ended up leaving that trip just realizing that a lot of things we hold on to in life don’t really matter. We both decided to stop spending so much time trying to get the perfect picture, and instead just enjoy being there. None of our material possessions matter, its all about the experience and how you impact the world around you. The river for me was a reminder that there are things greater in life way beyond my control, and I’m just a single piece in this complex puzzle called life.