The IAYP Silver & Bronze levels Adventurous Journey was held for Symbiosis International School, Pune from 25th to 30th October, 2015. Forty-five Silver level and two Bronze level participants were taken to Manali. They took a flight from Pune to Delhi followed by a 14-hour bus journey to Manali. They stayed at Prini base camp located 3kms from Manali.
The participants reached Manali on 26th morning. The 3rd practice trek took place on the first day from the base camp to Jamdigni Rishi temple. The overall trek was 6kms long and all the participants were able to complete the trek successfully. It was a fitness and endurance test and the participants showed the same perseverance like the 2 earlier practice treks. The same evening, they participated in a number of team activities like stretcher - making things out of limited resources available in the wild - and pitching tents. They learnt valuable and crucial life skills. It also promoted team spirit, co-operation and using presence of mind and analytical skills among the students.
On the morning of 27th October, the participants were divided into two groups. Half of them went for a cycling journey and the other half went for rafting. The cycling team travelled to Naggar castle located 18 kms from the campsite. The total journey was 36 kms to and fro. The cycling trip pushed the participants to their limits. It was a test of extreme perseverance and grit. Most of the participants had never covered such a massive distance on a cycle, which made it difficult for them to keep up but they worked to the best of their abilities and completed the journey. The road journey had many uphill and downhills at various points and the castle was located on a hilltop. The trip was extremely strenuous and challenging, however, the participants did not give up. This journey boosted the confidence of the participants and showed them the importance of stamina and will.
While half the group participated in the cycling trip, the others went white water rafting on the river Beas. The starting point of this was Pirdi. The journey was 14kms long and ended at Sharavai. The challenging part of this journey was the extreme temperatures of the water, which was very difficult to bear. The participants coped well with this physical as well as mental challenge. Rafting also promoted team work and co-ordination. Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable experience.
The same activities continued on 28th October. The group that did cycling switched to rafting and vice- versa.
A cultural programme was organised for the participants in the evening where a local dance troupe performed 'Kulvi Pahadi Naati'- their folk dance. This helped the participants understand their culture.
29th October was the last day in Manali. The participants embarked on a trek in the morning to Arjuna gufa (cave). It was a to and fro journey of 10kms. They travelled to a cave where Arjuna, an important mythological character in the Mahabharata, had meditated in peace. This was an insightful experience and the participants got to admire and appreciate the elaborate history and beliefs of the religion and country. The trek was quite tiring physically but the participants were motivated as it was the last day. They completed it in time. The participants covered a humongous 60 Kms trek in 3 days.
Finally the participants leisurely spent the evening at the local market before leaving for Pune. The Adventurous Journey was extremely memorable for all the participants. They learnt important life lessons that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. This exhausting yet enjoyable journey left an indelible impression on each one of them. Click for pictures