Teesta Rangeet White Water Rafting!
While returning from Gangtok, we had decided to do River Rafting as we have been missing this adventure for long long time, since I did it in Pokhara, Nepal long back. We got down at Chitrey Wayside Inn, for lunch at Melli Bazar, who also organise White Water River Rafting under Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council Tourism Department. They require a minimum group of eight persons were 7 as not many people were interested for rafting.But they agreed to take us to raft. We took the 11 KM long package for Malli to 29th Mile. There is one more longer package Malli to Kalijhora which is 27kms long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. The rates are Rs.350 and Rs 700/- ( UDS$ 7- 15). They provide all equipments, the boat, Life Jackets including trained rafter and swimmer.
After we paid we set thru' for rafting, we were taken by a jeep to the raft point and then we put on our life jackets. The captain gave us training on what to do and what not to do, how to use the raft and the oars for about 15 mits. Then we sailed for River Teesta. It was great fun and full of adventure for the one and half hour we spent on raft for 11kms. We went thru several rough patches( about 8/9) and it was test of our skills under the guidance of the young captain. At one point, I was given the duty of balancing the raft when the raft will approach the turbulant water as the other person was older and was raising his head time and again. I was told to kneel down and hold the raft by it's rope and put my chin by the body of the raft. It was also great learning ! At the end I was fully drenched and had to wait till Siliguri for change.
We also undertook the service of a photographer for Rs300/- ( USD$ 7), who will take our still and video photo. He also travelled with the raft on a jeep we hired and approach at some vantage points( about 4 points) and take our photographs. I gave him my Canon and our colleague gave him his Handycam, he photographed us at various points till end. He will come back by the raft boat. They will provide all equipments and train you. It is advisable to carry a half pant and tee shirts, if you decide to go for rafting. They carry a dry box to give a safe place to your wallets, watches, sunglass, cameras etc but it is not sufficient to carry your luggage and clothes. They will travel by the jeep they provide, which also brings back the boat.