Sattal meaning ‘seven lakes’ houses several adrenaline junkies, both domestic and foreign, during the summers. It offers a peaceful getaway amidst the hills and the valleys. Apart from some breath taking and picturesque landscapes, there are water sports for all those looking for a rush. Swimming in the crystal clear waters conditioned by the 1370 meters altitude is a different experience altogether.
One pleasant morning, my chirpy friend Aaliya and I, with an invincible ‘You only live once’ approach to life, headed down to the nearest lake for a swim. As our camp mates and we closed in on the location we discovered a bright and colourful line of Kayaks banked along the lake. There were Kayaks for both Singles and Doubles. I headed for a Kayak ride around the lake. As I manoeuvred my Kayak across the lake I realised just how perfect the sport is to exercise your upper body strength. It took us a while before we could actually implement the idea of rowing across the lake while still sitting in the Kayak. After a few hilarious topples we finally started moving, slowly but gradually. Yes! We felt rewarded for the half hour we put in to warming up. The sport demands synchronised movements of the wrist, arms and upper torso. The trainers who’ve been doing it for years certainly had enviable streamlined physiques, complemented by a set of biceps.
Surprisingly, Kayaking is extremely versatile as well. I and a group of friends decided to put a twist to Doubles Kayaking. We decided to declare a Kayak Racing Championship to be carried out between two teams. The losing team would buy butter chicken and the winning team would, of course, Eat it! It was a prize worth fighting for!
The game was set and the race began. Twenty minutes into the race we had covered an impressive 75 metres. We were trudging through the waters, pushing them behind with our mighty oars. ‘Breaking a sweat’ is an understatement for the effort that goes in. We were almost about to throw away free Butter Chicken. We had moved an a few meters and been pushed right back. But it was worth another shot! Nearly defeated by stagnation despite relentless rowing, our arms and shoulders throbbing, Aaliya and I decided that we would try rowing on opposite sides at one go, one oar dipped to the right and the other to the left. For a random guess, the strategy worked magnificently. We covered 200 meters within the next 20 minutes and won the race. Our opponents were not lucky that way. They toppled several times into the lake before they made it to 150 meters. We went back to assist our friends, once opponents, at the end of the race and they finished it in all dignity. The trick here is to co-ordinate with your team mate to the best of your abilities. It now not only requires your upper torso and limbs to be synchronized in their movement but also your partners’, both individually and collectively. It’s a herculean task BUT it’s worth every bit of effort that will go in. And if you’re an outdoor sports enthusiast, It is to die for! A REAL challenge! It will exert every muscle in your body and give you an extraordinary sense of achievement and pleasure.
You will have a valuable experience in Kayaking with a partner and of course will also be a great addition to your ‘Been there, Done that’ list.