Published: July 1st 2012July 1st 2012
That's the tent that was allotted to me...i only used it to store my bag and change. The soft sand of the beach was my bed.
There’s this place. Well, it’s not Rishikesh, it’s not Shivpuri, and it’s not Byasi, or Devprayag or Tapovan, but it’s somewhere there. So it’s about 23 km north of Rishikesh, and about 4 km south of Byasi. It’s two bends in the road after a bridge on your right called Malakunthi. There’s a cliff to your left and a tiny green board on the right saying ‘Camp Silver Sands’. Just behind the sign is a steep fall into one of the rapids of the fast flowing River Ganga. But, keeping the sign directly in front of you, to your left you will see a thin, feeble dirt track. Just follow it.
There, there is no electricity, so we sleep on the beach beneath a cozy blanket of stars at night; There’s water shortage, so we take regular dips in the cool River to keep clean and beat the weather; it’s a forest reserve so you occasionally see a wild animal or two just as stunned at seeing you as you are at seeing them, and then you both lose interest and move on, as if, accepted; again forest reserve so you don’t flush your toilet…you cover your poop with mud
Chottu Sanjay Rana with inexplicable enthusiasm taught me step-by-step correction by correction, of how to roll a 'sexy' roll.
He also claims to be a fortune teller but really don't fall for that one. He wants to be a dancer one day. and occasionally you'll even find him dancing all by himself vigorously like he were on stage.
– true doggie style.
Here I stayed for three weeks and wished I could stay longer. But the people of Garhwal needed the much-delayed rains, and they believe that so long as sinners remain on their land, it will not rain. Sure enough, the evening I left, heavy hearted and in two minds, it didn’t just rain there, it poured for three days straight.
Nonetheless, I will be going back there. And hopefully next time it’ll rain while I’m there. The beautiful hills of Garhwal that rise out of the beautiful waters of the river Ganga, is a sight I cannot get out of my head.
The River had begun to flood during my last week there. It was too dangerous for someone with as little knowledge of whitewater as me to try and learn in those waters. Every day we were hearing of deaths reported from other camp-sites. Even the team at Aquaterra’s Camp Silver Sands were getting edgy and anxious to shut shop for the season as the waters were getting too moody and unpredictable for the type of tourists that were coming (learners and beginners like me).
I was there to
One of a kind
Bada Sanjay Rana's claim to fame - apart from being one of the best river guides that exists - is that he missed becoming a VIP Frenchie model by two inches...in height (not length - in case you were wondering). His co-model turned out two inches taller than him and so he was turned away. Of course, he was talking about his younger days.
learn the ‘roll’. The Eskimo Roll is a technique used by whitewater kayakers to roll their kayaks back upright in the event of it turning upside down during a run down the river. Once a kayaker has mastered the art of the roll, they can risk running the river in the company of other kayakers.
Although this particular skill is not a compulsory pre-requisite for sea-kayaking or sprint (flatwater) kayaking, and although there are no rivers to roll around in back home in the Andaman Islands, I just thought I’d like to learn it.
So upside down I went and oops, and oops and up. That was pretty much how I spent most of my time there anyway. So the good news is, on my third last day at Camp the Manager at the time – Jeetu – asked another instructor from Aquaterra – Chain Singh – “Did she roll today?” Chain Singh nodded in affirmation. “How many times?” barked Jeetu.
“Four to Five...,” Chain Singh was now frowning with the strain of a precise count.
“Was it a sexy roll? Or an okay roll?” everybody paused…time stopped…a bird stopped chirping, even the chewing of another
In a man's world? No such thing
Herein lies Bianca, placed at Latitude 30. In charge of...I'm not sure, i never asked.
And beside her is an ever-happy-with-my-sexy-roll me.
instructor’s lunch had suddenly ceased. Chain Singh slowly nodded and blinked his approval.
YYYYYEEEESSSSSSS yelled a voice in my head with fists pumping in the air…while the rest of me remained seated and smiling delicately, sipping my tang, and listening to the chewing and chirping resume. I even managed to run the river from Beas Ghat to Daniel’s Dip.
I am too sexy for my Roll, baby!
Aquaterra Adventures: www.aquaterra.in
There are more photos below