The River Life
Life on the river is quiet a unique lifestyle. In the past 6 days we’ve been experiencing it for ourself. We floated down the Kali Gandaki river and camped on beaches along the way. We’d wake up every morning for a leisurely 8am breakfast and pack up to get on the river. Everyday we’d float down the river in the morning for about 2 hours and then stop at a small little beach for lunch. We’d all hang out, eat some lunch, and then continue on going down the river for another 2 hours until we’d find a good spot to camp for the night. After setting up, in the evenings we’d all sit around the campfire or play some cards. One night we even got the whole group to play a game of tag in the dark.
It’s interesting to me how the mood of rafting changed from the start to end. In the beginning when we first got on the rafts we had all our gear on with helmets and life jackets. We would all sit in the proper upright rafting position, paddle in hand, ready for the guide to tell us when to paddle. As the days went on this slowly changed. It started with just adding a speaker to the boat so we could listen to music while floating down. From there the positions changed. Instead of the proper upright rafting position we would all be laying down on the raft with paddles thrown to the side. Then came off the helmets because those were just uncomfortable when trying to take a nap. At one point someone even tried to take off their life jacket too but that was a bit too much and he got told to put it back on. Sometimes when people started looking too comfortable on the raft the two different boats would ambush each other by jumping onto each other’s rafts and pushing everyone into the water. Battles would break out and people would be holding onto the ropes as tightly as possible trying not to get thrown in. Everyone was always on high alert trying to be prepared for the next ambush.
The camp site set up changed a bit too as the rafting trip went on. It started with everyone taking the time to properly set up their tents so they’d have a nice place to sleep, but people quickly got lazy. By the end there was about more than half of us who would not even set up a tent and just sleep outside on a tarp. It was a lot less set up and clean up which was nice but you’d wake up with everything covered in sand.
Life on the river was certainly a sunny and sandy one. There were no showers for the whole 6 days so you’re never fully clean. Jumping in the river would help to keep us all from smelling but there was nothing you could do to avoid having sand everywhere. Sand would even get into the food adding some extra texture to whatever you were eating. There was also no escaping the sun. Some of the boys got the outline of the life jacket sunburned into them. It’ll definitely make for an interesting tan later.
Overall, life on the river was a nice one. We got off the river after 6 days feeling relaxed, looking sunburned, and in desperate need of a shower and real bed. It was nice to go back to the luxuries we have in a hotel, but life on the river will certainly be missed.