An odyssey to remember

Long before we stepped foot into Great Lakes Gurgaon, we received an email saying that we’re going for a team building program to Rishikesh. Considering that it was a land that I had never been on, I decided to go. Moreover, who would say no to river rafting and rappelling?

Come 24th May, we left Gurgaon for the trip. Although, in a most congested thing that was claimed to be a bus – a little box which was the only negative of the whole trip. Well, guess that was an apt beginning to our outbound training – as the whole purpose of the trip was to open our minds and teach us the art of ‘adapting to change’. It’s said, a true champion can adapt to anything and indeed, we needed the skill to ace the one year program!

After a tough night, we reached Camp Alpinestar. And guess what? We had to embark on a tiny trek (with luggage et al.) just to reach the campsite. But the view that awaited us was worth it – tents by the riverside and the sacred Ganges gushing in all its glory right by it. Yes, it was awesome.

We were split into two groups with three teams each. Group one (with me) went for rappelling and Group two went for rafting.

On the way to Stream Rappelling...

On the way to Stream Rappelling…

Wow! Where do I start about the trek? I’m contemplating on whether to start with how unfit we all were or how super fit the guides were. With temperatures burning our face off, we started climbing from some random point. A few minutes into it and we were like “Dude, this is not a trek. This is easy.” Clearly, we spoke too soon as like in the video games the trek just got tougher and tougher! Long breaths, frequent breaks and gazillion liters of water later, we finally reached our destination. All our fatigue vanished the instant we jumped into the icy cold water.  “The climb was worth it”, was all we could say while the guides were setting up the rappelling gears. It took us close to two hours to finish the rappelling. The most difficult part of rappelling was the start. After that, it was a (not so gentle) breeze and we enjoyed every bit of it. Then we headed back to the camp to grab some lunch and prep up for river rafting.

Geared up for Rafting...

Geared up for Rafting…

Stepping out right after lunch was a difficult choice. But then, that was our only choice! So, off we went for rafting. The currents were pretty strong that evening (that would make us go faster \m/). After a safety speech by our very own “fake Brit accent Rishikesh guide”, we were all set to have the time of our lives!  Braving the strong rapids, continuous rowing and a dip in the Ganges is something one can only be experienced. And I’m glad I did!

“Bunta”, a popular drink in the region was available on the river bank – a must have if you go to Rishikesh. So, of course we all had to have it! What more can you ask for in a day? Well, a bon-fire night that ended with delight and peals of laughter at our very own guitarist Abhinav Tiwari’s talent and antiques! That done, we called it a night. Well, to be precise, a full moon night without electricity which we survived with torches and mobiles.

Come 6 AM next day, and we were all up and ready for a refreshing meditation session by the Ganga. Prof Palhan explained to us the benefits of meditation and each of us made a mental note to incorporate this much needed eight minutes into our daily routines.

Meditating on the bank of Ganga!

Meditating on the bank of Ganga!

Then, we moved on to a few fun and interesting team building exercises like the Frisbee relay and the Egg drop game which helped us know our team mates better before leaving the camp for Gurgaon with a lifetime of memories.

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