Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Camping at Bhira & River Rafting at Kolad, Part 3 | Travelogue


Shrutika had fallen asleep, and shortly thereafter, Anurag was seen dozed off too. We tried waking them up, but they were too sleepy to bother. After few hours, Anurag woke up as he could not sleep inside the tent. He did something for better sleep.

He pulled out the cover of a tent and laid it on the ground. He then spread a bed sheet, applied some mosquito repellent on his body, and then slept on the makeshift mattress. We lied next to him as well. The remaining four of us were not sleepy at all; our eyes were heavy, but we seemed to be more of night owls. 

We then sat on the big rocks nearby. From chatting about cricket to drunken nights, we covered all possible topics. We had set alarm of 4:00 am. We thought of giving sleep another shot and went inside our respective tents at around 3:00 am. Roshan slept on the makeshift mattress; whereas, Anurag was back in his tent.

I could slightly hear the alarm ring, but I snoozed it, and then dismissed it. Later, Shrutika, who was the eldest among all and who had slept for more numbers of hours than us, tried waking us up at around 4:45 am. We had to reach the river rafting office by 8:15 am. We somehow got up, changed into new set of clothes, brushed, washed face, packed the tents, and cleaned the mess.

We went down walking with our luggage to the base village, Bhira. Anurag got the car and Roshan got his bike; meanwhile, Pratik was negotiating with the guide for fees. We paid a total of Rs. 1,000 only. Rs. 50 as the guiding fee and remaining Rs. 950 for the food. (Remember how the guide had said he would charge us Rs. 500? We paid only Rs. 50 instead!)

We called the river rafting organizers to tell them we were running late. After lot of diversions and turns, we reached the office at 8:30 am. Our organizer was Mercury Himalayan Explorations. The distance between Bhira village and their office is around 12 km. We parked our car and bike outside the office. We just carried water bottles, action camera, and few Oreo packets. We handed over our car key to the rafting guide, who kept it safely in his waterproof bag. 


We sat in a six seater and went to the starting point of the river. We met our rafting guide there. He handed us paddles, floaters, and head gear. Later, instructions were given about commands, safety, and paddling. I was a little bit nauseated; thanks to the empty stomach and an hour only sleep.

We pushed the boat in the river and started our rafting journey, which was of two hours. Anurag had fixed the action camera to his chest and we were happily rowing. None of us fell in the river, and there was no danger at all. The flow was less as it hadn't rained in two days. There were few points where the water did splash at us, but that was the only 'thrill' we experienced.

The guide also let us go in the waters, but strictly asked to hold the rope that's attached to the raft. I went in water twice. We wanted to go more, on which he said there was scope for swimming later. After almost 1.5 hours, we were given time to swim! Amrita and Shrutika didn't know to swim, but due to the floaters, they could enjoy as much as we swimmers did. It was a jolly time as there were many other rafts with us!

After say, forty five minutes, we were pulled up by our guide and then we approached the river bank. Our guide was funny as he was cracking jokes with us. We were pulling Anurag's legs, and the guide played a major role in doing this!

We reached the ending point and dragged our raft upwards, to the ground. We were tanned and tired. We then sat in a six seater and came back to their office. We paid Rs. 700 in total for the six seater ride! We girls then changed our clothes in their storage room. For lunch, we ordered rice bhaakris and pithla from a nearby hotel. The non vegetarians hogged on some chicken masala too. For desserts, we had ice cream!

We started off for coming back to Mumbai and it was time to bid Roshan a goodbye, as he was to go Goa on a solo bike ride directly. Shrutika sat with us in the car and it was good to have her with us. We played songs and then, after a three hours drive, we were back in the cement jungle! How I missed the neon green carpet and the tranquility of mind!
 
EXPENSES SPLIT UP
  • Rafting Charges - Rs. 775 (incl. tax) per head
  • Zoomcar - Rs. 3,200 (incl. petrol)
  • Guide and Food (depends on negotiation) - Rs. 1,000
  • Six Seater - Rs. 700
  • Miscellaneous Expenses - Rs. 300 per head
TOTAL EXPENSE PER HEAD -  Rs. 1,748

EXTRA DETAILS
  • Travel - Zoomcar
  • River Rafting Organisers - Mercury Himalayan Explorations
  • Campsite - Bhira Village
  • River where did Rafting - Kundalika River
  • Location of River Rafting Activities - Kolad
  • Distance between Bhira and Kolad - 15 km approx.
  • Guide for Camping - You'll have to ask the locals after reaching Bhira village
  • Food at Campsite - Provided by the guide at Bhira village
  • Best time to visit - June end or July
  • Nearby must visit places - Devkund waterfalls and Mulshi dam
Comment below if you have any query!
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