The swelling river, high rapids, and the gushing sound came alive the moment I was told about River Rafting in Punakha. It reminded me of my first river rafting experience in Maharashtra. That one epic experience helped me to break out of my shell of fear of being in water. Though I did look confident in comparison to my fellow travelers, but since I have water phobia, the water bodies made me feel conscious of my not so adventurous side.
Living on the edge, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and challenging your inner fear is adventurous for me. It was that moment for me. We were driven a few kilometers to the rafting point in Punakha. After the customary safety instructions and demo session with the instructor, everyone was geared up to sail through the 11 km stretch in the Mo Chhu River. With a big shout out, we started our journey.
Photo Courtesy : Dipanshu Goyal
As we moved ahead, the floating raft was passing through the ups and downs with the flow. The torching sun was up in the sky, though the cold breeze made it easy to breath on that sunny day. The unpredictable flow of the river made it quite exciting for us as we were expecting the very first rapid. As we were rowing, the instructor alerted us for the upcoming rapids on our way. A giant leap of water suddenly came crashing towards the raft and engulfed us. I went blank for a few seconds. It left us completely drenched. The moment we faced our very first rapid, the joy and confidence on everyone’s face was a moment to watch out for. The feeling of conquering fear within yourself was vivid and it was undeniably priceless.
Photo Courtesy : Dipanshu Goyal
After that we faced several rapids, big and small, ranging from grade 2 to 3. The thrill of facing rapids, increased every time we would see those smashing high tides towards us. Among those bundles of excitement, there was a layered calmness within. Seeing the scenic surroundings, the rhythm of waves and the sound of the wind made me appreciate nature quietly. As the raft negotiated its way through the rough patch of water, the vaguely visible Punakha Dzong from the distance dazzled as we approached towards it. The iconic architecture on the bank of the River created such a picture perfect frame at that moment and I could not keep my eyes away from it.
The unstoppable energy, singing songs, teasing each other was so much fun that we did not realize when we reached the camp site. One of the highlights of the day was night camping on the bank of the Po Chhu River after the most audacious experience.
The location was just perfect to have that one memorable night on the bank of the river. The tents were already ready before we reached.
As I stood on the bank of the river, watching the fading sun, the transition from the orange hue to the blue sky was a surreal experience.
The never ending discussions, the laughter and the joy of sitting under the sky was certainly one of the many fleeting moments that can’t be explained in words. The night became even more compelling with the sound of uproarious river.
My Trip to Bhutan was planned and sponsored by Bhutan Bookings.
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I was accompanied by travel bloggers – Abhinav Singh , Manjulika Pramod , Swati Jain and Dipanshu Goyal. Read their Bhutan Stories by clicking on their names.
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