Monday, 29 July 2013

In the Sundarbans, Day Three

This one will be brief.

My second nights sleep in the Sundarbans was less fantastic than the first nights. I had been savaged by the mosquitoes and my bites itched all night long. I woke up at least three times, every couple of hours. Despite this I felt well rested and prepared for the day, if a little scratchy. We woke up about 8 to head down to the Ganges and enjoy a boat journey up the river delta, away from the sea. I had stocked up on fruit the night before, but I forgot to bring it with me so my breakfast consisted of a not so pleasant packet of biscuits that tasted like toast that had been buttered two hours ago and left to harden, yuck! I munched on them all the way to river, through the village and my conversation and China with the Indian student I mentioned in my previous post, across the muddy river ridges, and down the red stone slope leading to the boat dock. Climbing onto the boat, I claimed a seat and finished my last one. I was definitely looking forward to the lunch on the boat we had been told was on the way later.

After everyone climbed on, managing to not slip and fall in, the boat revved up and started to move. Spinning to it tail it looked like we were stuck, at first. The Sundarbans team told us about their last boat trip, the boat had gotten stuck in mud and no amount of shoving managed to release it until time had decided to let go of its hull. Fortunately for us, the boat didn't remain stuck and we cruised out into the middle of the river. Unlike the Sundarbans the team the week before, we wouldn't be on the boat for quite the same trip they had. They had spent the entire day on the river, getting off at intervals to walk amongst the mangroves and into the wildlife reservation. We simply didn't have the time for that trip today, but we would be spending the next couple of hours seeing some beautiful natural scenes on one of the globes most iconic and famous rivers. As the boat drifted upstream and the river grew wider we sat to the front of the boat, facing the oncoming merging of two deltas. Music and easeful conversation fed the peaceful atmosphere. Unlike the other groups trip the week before, the sky was overcast but, thankfully, no more than a drizzle passed our way. A beaming sun could have either been beautiful of horrendous, with us being exposed for a number of consecutive hours so we definitively got the safest of bets in terms of the weather.

Conversation rolled around teaching schools, home, inappropriate jokes and food. I supposed it's extremely unlikely to stick a bunch of Irish lads on a boat and not expect the conversation at some point to turn to food, we just miss our beef too much! A couple of hours upstream we are gifted with lunch on the boat, curry, prawn, mango chutney(jelly), chicken and rice is our fantastic fare for the day, and we are happy out. Munching away, tea follows the food and a rotation of pretentious stances on the fore of the boat adds some fantasticly posey sensations to the afternoon. A couple of hours sees us returning upstream again,but not before jokes of a log, mistaken for a crocodile create roars of laughter on the boat. On returning, we clambered back out and up the red brick dock. Back to the Sundarbans accommodation and to pack for our trip back to Kolkata, some fond farewells left us leaving a fantastic weekend and a fantastic group of people until GP Week.

Delayed Blog post on GP week to come!

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