Day 4 – Baratang and back to Port Blair


We started from Rangat at the crack of the dawn, as usual. the destination of the day is the limestone cave at Baratang Island – the same place where we had the first ferry crossing just the day before. Only that from the jetty we take speedboats and begin the 40 km ride through the creeks to reach the other side of the island where the cave is located.

Ma and baba seem prepared for the worst

DSC_0893

and i did too, only with a frown:

DSCF0160

The creek at Baratamg. Apparantly they are full of saltwater crocs.

DSC_0895

More traffic on the other side of the creek. The big boat in the distance is the ferry.

DSC_0902

Lifejacket for protection against drowning and dupatta for protection against cold and wind-induced bad hair. Smaart baay, Rabart!

DSC_0905

From the wide creek, the boat took a turn into the narrow mangrove channel. at times the channel was so narrow that the sides of the boat kept bumping into the roots.

DSC_0919

From the jetty, we had to walk for like a kilometre to get to the cave. First, the road took us through the jungles

DSC_0931

Our guide and his brother leading a group of enthusiastic travellers

DSC_0933

More forest roads:

DSC_0937

After some time, things started to rock! i mean the surroundings started getting rockier… and indication of the proximity to the cave.

DSC_0951

A narrow road passes between the sentinel rocks.

DSC_0955

And then there was a narrow bridge over a narrow brook.

DSC_0958

I was tired of no one clicking my pics. So i stood in the middle of the ‘bridge’ till ma snapped one.

DSCF0172

Gone…

DSC_0972

Going…

DSC_0974

Gone!

Entering the foreboding limestone caves. The inside was pitch dark. The guide was carrying an emergency lamp, the only light source once you are in.

DSC_0975

And these, my dear friend, are the rock formations inside the cave. Over thousands of years, water had been dripping down giving rise to rocks of curious shapes. they are in a process of constant growth, sometimes they grow and change so rapidly that the change is discernable even within a few years.

DSC_0978

Various chemicals in the water adds various ishades of colours to the rocks. The colours are not completely understandable as most of the photographs inside the caves were to point to or focus on.

DSC_0985

And yes, it can be very claustrophobic

DSC_0987

A stalactite

DSC_0989

From a wide and lofty opening, the cave gradually goes narrower and narrower and the rocks weirder.

DSC_0991

And there is ma, shouting at the rocks, apparantly. Look at the expression of fear on baba’s face. The cave does weird things to your psychy.

DSC_0993

A stalactite descends from the woof while a stalagmite rises from the floor.. or is it the other way round? whatever… one day they will meet and form a pillar!

DSC_0995

Leaving the caves. The rocks on the right looks like a series of faces carves on the walls.

DSC_1004

The amazing bamboo forest. Spot the bench in the lower right corner? We sat there for a while nursing the straining legs

DSC_1023

Back on the road and exhaustion takes over. This is when the car stopped at the forest checkpost at Jarbatang.

DSC_1048

Who knew there was so much more to the Andamans than just sand and surf?

DSC_1050

Of course there are deserted roads in the middle of thick forests where your car suddenly breaks down, miles away from humanity. The driver went off to the next town, 28 kms away to find us another vehicle while we waited.

DSC_1051

Rampwalking in the forest. What people would do to pass two hours!

DSC_1057

Obviously Baba cant do rampwalk, so he just took a stroll

DSC_1059

and then stopped to admire the lush foliage!

DSC_1062

Finally back in Port Blair. The runway of the town’s airport is to the right. They built two parallal roads – used one for the cars and buses and the other for Airbuses!

lol

DSC_1072

Funny breed of local poultry. Looks like a cross between chicken and turkey to me. Whatever it is, it’s bound to be tasty!

DSC_1074

A pillar erected in 1914 in memory of the few residents of the islands who died fighting in the First World War for a country, they or their descendants would never set foot in.

DSC_1082