One Last Time

Last week, I went for a rafting expedition with my whole class. It was our last adventure camp, ever. This is an account of that experience.

Between waves of sandy wind and tides of lost memories, we set off to raft from Alaknanda to Shivpuri with nervous smiles and determination. Little did we know that the nervousness would soon turn into excitement, and the determination would turn into pure satisfaction.

As we passed the hills and valleys on our way to our first campsite, we saw the skyline dotted with tents and campfires. It was almost as if we were reliving all our previous experiences out in the wilderness; it was a sight that was heartwarming. As we arrived at our campsite, we instantly associated it with that familiar, homely feeling that comes with adventure camp. We stargazed under the raft-shelters and could hardly contain the excitement for the days to come.

The next 4 days were a whirlwind of water and exhilaration. Between ‘Forward Paddle’, blaring songs, and muffled whispers, we took on the river and refused to leave our rafts. There wasn’t a single day where we didn’t have full-fledged water-fights or cheer with our instructors. Apart from rafting, we helped set up our shelters, and put up the rest of the campsite. It was exciting to play different roles and see the campsite come together.

One moment that really stood out, however, was the day we went cliff-jumping. To jump off a 20 feet-high cliff, into the crystalline-blue water was almost life-changing. We experienced an unadulterated surge of adrenaline that will forever be etched in our minds.

During the expedition, the mornings were action-packed and nervous, and the nights musical and fun. We played countless hours of charades, made up movies that wouldn’t even make sense to half the world, and sang in our hoarse voices. We counted the stars and remembered each and every moment that we had gone through, as individuals, and together, as a batch. Maybe we didn’t cross every rapid or encounter every possible experience. Maybe we didn’t tick every box or climb every single mountain. But when we crossed all the campsites, all the trees, rivers, hills, and valleys on our journey back, there was one thought that rang in all our minds. We had come full-circle. We had enjoyed this camp to its fullest, we had learnt from all our past experiences and encounters. We had changed as individuals and had definitely changed as a batch. And between waved of sandy wind and tides of lost memories, we had the best, most apt, and most exhilarating expedition we could have ever hoped for.

Live to fight another day,

But did you really fight today?

raft 2

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