Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 18 - Sunderban Boat ride to Dobanki

March26 at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Quite a disturbing sleep due to the heat. Wake up early and go straight to the watch tower at the back of the campus. Mangrove forest is pretty strange with nothing but soft clay on the floor and tall bushes or short trees of around the same height. Its the same for miles and miles. The campus is fenced and many times Tiger has been spotted around the campus.

After breakfast my boat man arrives and we get done with the formalities of forest office permission for me, the boat man and a guide. We sail to pakhirala to get stuff so that food can be prepared on the boat. By the time we actually start its 9.30 and temperature picking up really fast. The guide Subhendu starts of with a lot of gyan about the place. All in Bengali! good that i can understand bengali. Lot of negotiations to enter the core areas yielded no result. Even with further prompts i was politely declined. The Tide is going up and water is almost at the tree level. Not very convenient factors for Wildlife spotting. We start of with some with some wind which created waves and rocked a boat a bit. The boat man bit concerned tough not worried. It soon starts rain lightly! Looked like a very bad day to be out there. Later the weather improves. Thanks to the rain its bit cool and also cloudy for the rest of the day. Could see the water level residing.

Then on we sail towards Dobanki and it got pretty boring for a while. I was having short naps sitting on the watch! Cos there was nothing but water and bushes. Reached Dobanki by lunch time and walked on the canopy walk to the watch tower. It was pretty hot and no praises to guess that could not spot anything. Have lunch at the boat. They take a lil narrower route on the way back. Now that the water level had reseaded quite a bit could see the land and raised the interests. Interesting formation of the soft clay leading up to the bushes. Nothing much say about that but it was awesome sailing slowly on the canals between islands.

Reached Sadhanukhali again for an evening try and see that water level has reseeded like more than 20 feet compared to when we had come in the morning. And i thought it would hardly be 3-4 feet. This time the weather is good and it is good time for spotting says the guide. Sure enough we spotted the spotted dear from the observation tower, along with wild bores. Spend a good one hour and no luck so it was time to head back. Sighting or no sighting, the evening was truly amazing and enjoyed every bit of it. The Guide told me a couple of stories of the way he has seen tiger and some incidents. Even heard one had been inside the tourist campus a couple of days back!

Any way leaving sunderbans tomm to calcutta. Hope that the bike is still there where i left it and again hope that i would be able to get the bike up the steep jetti at Gasoba.

Solar panels at the Sajnekhali resort.

Staring at the Mangrove forest..

Thats my boat...

Kitchen cum Engine room.

Going to SudhanaKhali watch tower.

Some land has been cleared so that viewers can see the animals...

With high tide, nothing but water and bushes.

Rain man!

With receding water level can now see some land..

If not the big cats how about the small cats...

Any forest spotted dear can be easily spotted! This one swam across the river..

Water going down and more land showing up...

Thats me, Karthik the boat man and Shubendu the Guide...

Tiger foot prints...

Saw pug marks and wanted to turn the boat around to go back. It kinda got stuck on the bank. The guys were really worried that if a tiger was around it would jump on the boat!

The pub marks hardly a day old. Cos the marks gets washed away in couple of tides.

At Shudhanakhali view point again...

Wild friends. When ever the deer reached for the leaves the monkey used to push down the branch. Else the deer could not have reached it! Have a VDO of it will try to upload.

Awesome evening at Sunderbans...

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