Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 17 - Kolkata to Sajnekhali (Sunderbans)

March25 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

123 KMs

It was time to be on the move again. Decided on hitting sunderbans with still lot of doubts. But some how wanted to go with bike. But since i was carrying bare minimum things, the panniers would have been only hindrance especially with impending boat rides. So i removed the panniers for this sub ride. Hope i can fit it back as strong as before.

Got going by 10 am and out of Kolkata i expected alot of rural traffic. Inquired my way towards Basanti. One person said i have to spell it properly like "Baashonthi" else nobody will understand if i say basanti! Got the road and there was less traffic than expected. Ride through the rural WestBengal once again. But this area seems less populated with lot bettor roads. People also seemed vella compared to the previous areas i visited. It soon became a good ride in the country side with good roads and greenery around. Passed by many fish farms and brick production units. All the while inquiring if i can take the bike all the way to Sajnekhali, got couple of good affirmations and while others discouraged. Any way i wanted to take the bike till the last possible point. All the while making up my mind how ever be the boat ride will take the bike.

Soon i entered Basanti and asked my way till the boats for Gosaba. Man this jetti had steps with steep small incline in the center!. The more i seem to get ready for the much more it gets tricky and tough. I stand there like an idiot with a huge bike not knowing if i will cross the water and if not then what? go back of put the bike in some hotel in Gosoba or trust some 1. By then people had accumulated for the arriving boat. People say ya ya the bike can go get it till the boat. I was too apprehensive to take the bike down. By now an youth was interacting with me. Slowly he started saying about he lost some money and started sharing his problems with me. That got me uncomfortable for which i politely ignored and said things will get bettor and that i would not be able to give him a lift and instead will give him few bux he is feeling short of to get home.

Any way the youth took the bike's handle and slowly rolled down the bike along with the boat mans help. And before i realized the bike was on the boat! Man now there is no turning back. Spend a nervous 15 mins to get across the water and this time i managed to get the bike up not so steep ramps. Now i am off towards sajnekhali. Here no four wheelers ply on the island. all the roads are just some 5 feet wide, but still neat. Ride for some 20 mins in the small roads which even had an arrow stright section. Finally cam to Pakhirala and asked to boat man to take me and my bike to the Sajnekhali for which was impossible. One there was not ramp on the steps. The Sajnekhali island has just the tourist lodge right on the edge. Now i had to leave the bike somewhere there. The boat man had hotel near by and said i can park there and stay. Conveyed my intentions to stay at sajnekhali and requested to watch over my bike. Then catch the boat to Sajnekhali. If the bike aint there at the hotel when i go back then guess the ride is over!

Though i had no booking, get a room as out of 40 odd room mine was only the third! Was 3.30 am and no boating possible today it seems. Any way settle down in the room or just out side the room as it was hot hot hot hot. And electricity is only from 6PM to 6AM. The campus is awesome with fence around the non water edges to prevent tiger from entering! After the fence its just the raw mangrove forest. Tomm will be going for a full day boat ride. Laze the rest of the day around the campus. Spend some time on the watch tower at the rear staring at the mangrove forest for miles and miles ahead. Gotta get up early tomm.

Nice roads towards Basanti

Lot of brick manufacturing establishments...

And fish culturing...

Cant believe the load on the boat!

Riding throught the West bengal villages

The great water crossing!

Dizzing incline to move the bike!

Catch some mud skippers while i wait for the boat.

This guy was not really leaving the bike. Intent on getting a lift. Helped him by 20 bux and politely told him i would not take him along!

Narrow roads in Gosaba island...

Narrow and arrow straigt!

Trust my bike here at pakhirala... cant take the bike further any more...

Then i catch a boat to hop to the sajnekhali island...

The rooms in a row...

the dorms..

My wooden room.

Boy was it hot. Power/Fan available only from 6pm to 6am!

Some evening photography...

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