I had read a lot about the mangroves, but life never gave an opportunity to see it in all its glory. Having crossed the forest area and seen the Jharawas, we reached the Middle Strait Creek where the Car journey ended because we had to cross the creek. We had to get into the ferry to cross the creek and get on to the other side called the Nilambur Jetty. It’s from here you hire a motorized boat to reach the Limestone Caves. The journey itself was exhilarating, since the boat was splashing cool but salty sea water on our faces with its speed. Batches of tourists were bundled into each boat, and each boat vied with the other to be ahead. And finally, the boat meandered through the mangrove creek, which was exciting and also a little intimidating. This area, we were told, was crocodile infested. We were warned not to keep our hands dangling into the water, lest we be dragged by a crocodile.
The mangroves are so dense, that if you venture into the unknown zone, you may get lost. One of my friend narrated a story of how someone from Delhi had visited this place, and was so much impressed by the mangroves, that he wanted to go deeper into it, even though he was warned of the dangers of such a venture. He didn’t listen and pestered the boatman to take him further into the mangrove creeks. They went and went and went, and finally they didn’t find the way out of it – they were lost. And it was then, the fear of getting entangled in an unknown zone, caught his senses. He started sweating because they were almost lost in the dense mangroves which had crocodiles in large numbers. They somehow, made it after a couple of hours, after a close brush with danger. So pay heed to what the locals say.
The boat reached the jetty at Nayadera, where we had to disembark and walk a distance of say 1.5 KMs through the fields to reach the Limestone Caves. It was a sunny day, and we were almost done, with the walk. Just before reaching the Caves, under the shade of the trees, sat a couple of vendors selling cool lemon water. We had two glasses each, and believe me, our taste buds never tasted such a drink in our life before – it was so heavenly.
Fully charged up after drinking this elixir of life, we proceeded to see the Caves and while we returned, we stopped by, to have this elixir once again – two glasses each.
In the same boat, we returned back to Nilambur Jetty again, and took a jeep ride to see the mud volcano, which was some 3 KMs from the Nilambur Jetty. Not something worth seeing, but still, since we went so far, we saw it.
Photos may not do enough justice to the boat ride experience we had on the way to the Limestone Caves, so I will try posting a few videos for you to have a firsthand feel.
To feel charged up, sometimes all you need is, “Vitamin Sea”