Today, i shall take you from Dighlipur where we halted the previous night to Rangat where we will spend this night. On the way we visit the Ross and Smith islands of the coast of Dighlipur. As i mentioned earlier, Dighlipur is the main town of the North Andaman island. Close to Dighlipur is Saddle Peak, the tallest mountain of the Andamans. This map of North Andaman will make things clearer.
We woke up in the morning and walked down to the Kalipur beach which is a little distance from the resort. Here’s ma and Baba in front of the hotel
You have to walk for like a quarter of a mile on the main road before turning into a lane that leads to the beach. Ma and Baba taking the long walk
From the main road, this narrow lane branches off to the beach. As with everything else on the island, the pathway passed through a very thick forest before opening, almost miraculously onto the wide and wild Kalipur Beach
It was stormy overnight and it had been pouring torrentially till around an hour before we hit the beach. The winds were high and the sea was rough. Here, take a look:
…and the rains started all over again. We had to run for shelter at the shack on the beach where we waited for the next hour for it to stop. This poor man was trying to stay dry and guide two stubborn buffaloes at the same time. Poor man!
How many colours can you see in the water?
This is the wild and storm lashed Kalipur beach. This is pristine habitat. In November-December, turtles – Olive Ridleys, Leatherbacks, Hawksbills – come ashore to nest on this beach.
The rain held for a few minutes and i went for a walk on the beach and this is what i found. This is a huuuuuge King Cobra, easily 14 feet in length. Its not surprising that it was murdered, because thats the only thing people can do, but what struck me was the way it was murdered. If you look closely, you will see that it was strangled to death with a rope. What sort of a depraved person would do that??
Another view of the beach and all the storm debris that have been washed ashore.
And thats baba and me taking shelter from the strong winds and heavy rains.
So after we managed to cram in some breakfast, we headed straight to the Ariel Bay jetty to take a boat to Smith Island. The time was just about right as the low tide had just set in. Heres ma in the jetty:
The simple man guiding his simple boat
One of my trademark abstract shots. I must stop taking more of these. Its kinda getting repetitive
When you reach Smith island, you discover that there is no jetty. So the boat goes as far as it can and then you have to jump! Here are two people who have successfully got down from the boat in the manner described before.
The skies were so dramatic throughout the trip. I love this picture:
What you see here is the smaller Ross island seen from the larger Smith. As it is low tide, the two islands are connected by this while sand beach. While we were there, the waters receded further and the beach became even broader.
Thats the beach on the Smith Island side
As the waves came lapping on the shore, it churned the sand on the seabed into these interesting formations. On a clearer day, this would have been even clearer.
Resting places for tourists at the Smith island beach
One more of the beach…it was so beautiful, could not get enough of it.
Our boat waiting to take us back to the jetty. Check out the hills in the background. Mysterious misty hills.
And the waters recede even further and reveal what was till a few moments ago, under the waves
The beach was full of corals and sea shells. This one was huge. It would have easily weighed 2 kgs. Beautiful..only nature can craft such colours and patterns
Random beach shot
Another random beach shot
This is how deserted the place was. We were the only people in the two islands. And look at the sky again. AWESOME
Check out how clear the water is. the bottom is crawling with hundreds of crabs and fishes. Wherever you plant a foot, there are a thousand things scuttling around. That place was alive
Ma taking my pic, i guess
This is one of my favourite pics from the day. The colour of the water here is so unusual. Adding to the charm are the patchy sky and the cloud topped hills in the distance
Its time to go. The boatwallah gets the craft as close to us as possible
‘Be careful when you get on to that boat‘, he tells her