"Rishikesh? Are you crazy? I've been there, like, a gazillion times and I'd rather stay home to chill out with friends!" was my friend's first reaction when I asked her if she'd go. Nevertheless, I was determined to grab the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
On the pleasant morning of 25th March 2012, an excited group of Vivekites departed for Rishikesh. There had been double the strength for the previous trip to Nahan but that didn't affect our high spirits - what could be better than four days on a school trip with so many friends and pure, unadulterated fun! When we reached our destination, we were thrilled to see our tents. As we explored the site, we were awed by the breath-taking landscape that surrounded us.
In the days that followed, we had loads of fun doing various activities like artificial rock climbing, learning to tie various kinds of safety knots, trekking, tent pitching, an exhilarating bike hike and the much awaited river rafting. We were surprised to see how we excelled in all the physical activities we'd never done before. Hooting and cheering for everyone even gave some people bad throats, but their enthusiasm made them continue nonetheless. River rafting was, by far, the best part of our adventure. What's more... a handful of us even dared to jump off a 25 feet high cliff during river rafting, and the experience is incomparable to any other.
The bike hike was indeed a lot of fun, despite the fact that most of us hadn't so much as touched a bicycle for the past couple of years! We were relieved to spend some time at the Gurudwara at Paonta Sahib; the surroundings were very calm and serene. There, we called home from the PCOs. I'd never been happier to hear my Dad's voice and got nearly choked up with tears!
We had a bonfire every night -something to look forward to after the physical challenge. On our last night, we sang to our hearts' content and the dinner was also exceptional. The best part - the lights out time was pushed from 10 pm to 11 pm!
So, all in all, this Adventours Journey was by far the best experience of our lives. Our last school trip couldn't have been any better; so much so that we'd all be ready to return there in a heartbeat. Going to Rishikesh had been the adventure of our lifetime - it was such a unique and fun-filled experience that it'll be a cherished memory forever.
But, as Henry Van Dyke says,
"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
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