the wind in my hair
the sand between my toes
the deep green sea
and the sun upon my skin
Read this somewhere recently. Without even knowing I have been travelling every year (as part of my second vacation for the year) to a beach place since 2013.
2013 – Goa (India)
2014 – Kolad (Pune, India)
2015 – Bali (Indonesia)
Well, I think beach is my Happy Place. And it has never failed me so far.
For this week’s photography challenge: Achievement
a) Doing my first river rafting in Kolad, Pune during a recent week long vacation. I just loved it (and guess what I got into the water , of course with the life jacket and all after so much fuss and enjoyed it too, even though I sprained my neck trying to keep my head above the water)
b) During my Spain trip this year, I finally got around my fear of going on my own (an after effect of my last year’s injuries) to the 34th level of the Seville Cathedral (without stairs and without physical and emotional support) and loved the view from there. I almost gave up after 20th level, but then decided to get going and get it done. For me that was really an achievement.
c) And finally got the first photo book of my 2013 European tour printed. I had wanted to get one done for a long time, but this year I did it and was so happy to receive it.
The second stop of the trip was to Kolad. The sole purpose of visiting this place was to do the River Rafting on Kundalika River, which has rapids of grade 3 at this time and during the peak monsoon, you can get rapids of grade 4 and 5 too, according to the guide. But the best is in Rishikesh, according to the guide, if you are too adventurous. My first river rafting experience, and for someone who doesn’t know swimming, it was a great experience. We were just three of us to paddle and we got a short and quick session on the commands and how to paddle in case of rapids and stuff like that. It was very cool and surprisingly I didn’t have any pain later after all that paddling. The first time the guide stopped us between rapids in a place, he told, ‘madam abhi paani mein jayegi’ (Madam will go into the water). For that madam, that is me, replied ‘madam kahin nahi jayegi’ (Madam will not go anywhere). He laughed and said that if I felt afraid to do it here there is yet another place where the water is much more still and calm. I said how much ever he wishes that we all get into the water, I won’t. But then the other two went into the water and was calling me to try it at least once. After a lot of thought, I decided that ‘what the hell, let me just get this another experience over with’ and was trying to get into the water very gracefully, when suddenly I found myself in it. That guide seeing how much I was trying to avoid it sort of gave a slight push. But I know that without that I wouldn’t have done it. I would have crawled back again to my place and sat tight. I am grateful to him for that. And it took a very long time for me to relax. I didn’t let go of the rope he gave me which was tied to the boat and a lot of assurances from him that he will be there to save me in case of any eventualities (in spite of him being just half my size). And I was in the water for almost 20-30 mins, most of it with me lying flat in the water and straining my neck to keep my head from not getting pushed into the water. But after all that drama, I did it and it felt really really good, even if I may not do it again if you ask me now. Realized how damn afraid I am of getting into the water and how it felt good to let go of that fear for sometime. Yay!!!
Damn! I was proud of myself that day.
Where Khaas Plateau was for colors and flowers, this place was for a little adventure.
Starting up early
Mist still covering the roads
When cleared, got the mountain ranges in view
Crossed the Kundalika River
Start of the River Rafting
Other groups joining in
View from our raft