We started at 4 in the morning to get to Dighlipur. Port Blair is at the southernmost tip of the Great Andaman islands while Dighlipur is the northern end. The total distance is around 340 kms. Here’s the map:
The red line is the Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) that connects the two cities. It passes through some of the densest forests in the world, inhabited by the stone age Jarawas. At two pints, you need to get down from whatever vehicle you are in, cross over on ferry – people, cars, buses, et al, and continue from the other side.
The road through forests:
The first ferry crossing at Middle Strait. You can see how vehicles and people cross over on boats.
From the boat, you get a very nice view of the creek as well as the numerous small islands and the mangrove forests fringing the waterline
Here’s a close-up of the lush mangrove thickets:
We crossed over from middle strait onto Baratang island. Here we waited in little huts built on the water, for the car to come in the next boat. I took some pics while waiting.
There was a boat tied to the pillars. I tried to capture it using the window of the hut as a frame:
More vehicles cross over to join the melee on our side of the water:
While we were still in the shack, it started to rain heavily. here is a picture of the deluge
And this, after the rains..
People line up to board the state bus to Dighlipur at Baratang jetty
From here on, we went to see the Mud Volcano, which was just an anthill sized mound issuing bubbles from the top. What a let down! Here is Baba walking through the forest to get there
This is a beautiful photograph of ma, en route the Mud Volcano. When baba saw this pic, his only comment was ‘aagun laiga jaibo‘!
Strange palm trees…seen nothing like this anywhere else… locally they are known as the Umbrella Palm
Baba pretending to be a poet while waiting for the boat at Kadamtala Jetty (the second ferry crossing)
Kadamtala jetty from the boat
Stormclouds loom over the mangroves at Kadamtala
ma and baba on the boat
and thats me
Funny pic of ma chilling with some nariyal paani. Baba’s reaction to the pic was ‘khaishe!’
After ma, it was the dog’s turn to succumb to the kernel desire!
The waste paper bin becomes a hand resting place. Talk about wildlife suffering under the growing weight of humanity
Lunch at Rangat
Just outside the restaurant we had lunch in, i discovered a colony of the half-inch-long Tailor Ants. If you look closely into the following pics, you will see that the ants literally ‘stitch’ leaves of the plants together to make a nest. They are very aggressive and their sting is supposed to be very painful.
The journey from Rangat to Dighlipur was long. The road passed mostly through forests which got denser and denser with every passing mile. sometimes forests were broken by little hamlets with surrounding paddy fields. The clouds were very low. You could see them drifting through the tops of hills barely 100 meters high.
This one was taken from the moving car. Check out what i was saying about the clouds.
And this was just before everything plunged into a sudden, early night.