Back to Basics

Nearly a fortnight back, had the opportunity to be a part of some very basic living.
Basic meaning absolutely basic. Yeah, stayed in a base camp on the river Ganga at Shivpuri, near Rishikesh.Have stayed in camps earlier too at Uletokpo, Laddakh and at Shoghi, near Shimla, but staying at this camp site was absolutely an experience of a different kind.First, have a look at the tents…
…rows of tents, on the river bank with white sandy beach. And this one below, was my home for a week. It had 2 beds, a small table, a very small mirror and 2 bamboo chairs. The table had 2 candles and a match box. Yes, you got it right, no electricity!!
The sounds of the gushing river, 2 very warm blankets and a hot water bottle, helped you to sleep comfortably and snugly in the cold of the night!

Our camp also had 4 small tents, which were placed a lil’ away from the living tents.
And guess, what these 4 tents are for??

Well, they give you a very very unique experience!

They are the dry-pit toilets… basic yet functional toilets. These dry pit toilets are the only toilets that have been permitted by the Forest Department on beach camps. They are eco-friendly, no fuss toilets. There is a hole in the ground with a western style wooden “thunder box” placed over the hole. No squatting required!! You’d like to thank the inventor for this one!! The back of this “thunder box” is open so that it is easy to scoop in sand and lime from the back for covering up. A scoop is provided for this purpose. Toilet paper is provided too!! (Thank God for small mercies!)
And the shower…. the picture says it all…
The kitchen and staff tents…
The dining area…
The best place for the guys (and some girls too) in the evening… the bar!
No, electricity, so no TV and music. The camp staff and the guests, spend some time to play volley ball.
The food was simple yet delicious.

The bestest part of the camp was white water rafting. It was truly an exhilarating experience. Rafting as you know, is done on rapids formed by the river. Rapids are a white patch of foam on a flowing river caused by sudden gradient or by the river breadth getting constricted while flowing through a gorge between rocks or by a sudden increase or decrease in the volume of the water. This is the picture of the rafts on a calm river, as clicking while on a rapid is just impossible!!
The camp also offers kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing as adventure activities to give you that rush of adrenaline. Of course, reading by the river side or counting the stars (literally) on a clear night or singing with the group as the bonfire lights bright and high, give you that happy, satisfied feeling too!

I truly loved the experience… a bit tough, a bit challenging, but surely rejuvenating and gives that feeling of happiness and achievement and the knowledge that life can be lived simply too!