The flow of the water and the rapids these days are good on account of the rain, and the next three to four days are best for white water rafting, says Naushad Maldar, who ensures that adventure lovers leave happy with the experience.
The water and the rapids of River Mhadei are in full flow these days on account of the heavy rainfall in the area.
This year, the adventure activity of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation began late because of the delayed rainfall, but has picked up momentum.
If one wants to experience this thrilling outdoor adventure and make some Goa monsoon memories, head to Valpoi town in Sattari taluka. From here, drive a short distance to reach Nagargaon, adds Naushad.
At Nagargoan, the friendly and knowledgeable staff of Southern River Adventures and Sports Pvt Ltd will brief you and then have you sign the disclaimer forms. Bookings (www.goarafting.com) for the rafting experience have to be done in advance.
From here, the vehicles of the rafting company will take you to the starting point. After getting down from the vehicle, it's a 10-minute walk through a forested path to reach the river, where the rafting starts.
The rafting activity in Goa is determined by the intensity of the rain and goes on from mid-September to early October. If the rainfall is good, the flow of the water remains suitable for rafting and there is no problem in continuing with the venture, Naushad informs.
The Southern River Adventures and Sports Pvt Ltd is a company run by Englishman John Pollard, who has 30 years of river rafting experience all over the world without any major accidents.
John is widely acknowledged as the pioneer of rafting in South India, having introduced six new stretches of rafting to this part of the country since 1999 and safely rafted 50,000 people accident-free.
Before the activity could see the light of day in 2012, the company had to observe the flow of the river and study other aspects, eventually getting the rafts in the water for trial runs. All these took around two years.
John says when the flow is high, the rapids are good, but normally they try and avoid the bigger ones. When the water flow is low, the rapids are slower, but it is still good fun. A medium low-level flow is the best flow and good for beginners, he adds.
Talking about the safety aspects, John narrates, "We follow the same international safety standards that were introduced in South India. In fact, I personally wrote the standards for the Karnataka government. These are widely followed to this day and the same standards are followed around the world by responsible rafting operators."
Naushad says it is very important for the participants to listen carefully to the safety talk of the guides to experience one of the best rafting trips in peninsular India. It is all about experiencing stunning scenery and greenery in a 10-km run down the river with Class 2 and 3 rapids.
Adds Naushad, who has been with Southern River Adventures for the last 10 years since the beginning of the activity, "With a good flow of water it takes around one hour to cover the distance of 10 kilometres and with a medium flow, around one-and-half hours."
These days, he informs, with the bountiful rain Goa is experiencing the flow of the water is very good and the entire course can be completed in one hour. Otherwise, with a medium-level flow, it takes about one and a half hours.
There are many who think that one has to know swimming to enjoy the activity. Not necessarily, the participants are given life jackets and are even allowed to take a little dip at the start to ensure they are comfortable. They are explained how the jacket will help them float safely even if they fall off the raft.
Southern River Adventures takes two trips per day – the first one at 9.30 am in the first half of the day and the second trip at 2.30 pm in the second half.
So, if you are looking for a bit of adrenaline rush to invigorate yourself, head to Valpoi. It doesn't matter what your ability or experience levels are, white water rafting can be enjoyed by everyone and not only hard-core adventure lovers.