Always wondered about going solo on a trip. Put stories on Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram...asking friends and people to join me on a trip to the Sunderbans: World's Largest Mangrove Forest. Well....after seeing disinterested faces....decided to go on my own...my very first solo trip!!
Total expense: Rs.3500 (including everything)
Being from Kolkata....started the trip from Sealdah Station. Boarded on a local train to Canning railway station. Took around an hour and 10 minutes to reach.
From the station, there are innumerable number of shared auto-rickshaws available. Reached the Canning ferry ghat within 20minutes or so.
The ride was amazing and so was the weather. So hopped in and thus, began the tour for the 6th Hilsa Festival at the Sunderbans.
First halt was at the Gosaba Village...
Places of interest: Beckon Bungalow and Hamilton Bungalow.
After this, we were served lunch....and it was yum!!
Menu: Steamed rice, eggplant fry(baingan fry), potol chingri (pointed gourd with prawns), Hilsa Paturi (wrapped in banana leaves), Illish Bhapa, chutney, papad and misti doi (bengal special- sweet curd).
After the lunch, the other co-passengers were fropped off at an island called Pakhiralay, where they stayed at their hotel rooms. I, on the other hand, decided to stay in the boat with the sailors.....in the cabin. However, my night turned into a nightmare.
After having my dinner, which was begun bhaja(roasted egglant) with special khichdi (hodge-podge) and hilsa fry....as i was going to sleep, i saw a cockroach. Yes, its embarassing. Yes, im phobic towards cockroaches. Yes, i could no longer sleep in the cabin.
I climbed up to the upper part of the boat....but, unfortunately, tourists arent allowed to sleep there. It was the rule!! I begged them...explained it to them that rats, snakes, lizards dont matter to me but cockroaches. They laughed and remained adamant. So, i took a chair and sat and fell asleep. Now, you see, if you've worked nught shifts in the IT Sector, you become a pro in this. So was I. After an hour or so, they woke me up and allowed me to sleep beside them but warned me about the heavy showers at night in the middle of the river. I fell fast asleep....no signs of cockroaches there...it was peaceful. The calm sea...the beautiful moonlight.
While i was sleeping, suddenly i felt heavy showers poring and the next moment.....the wind brought them towards us and for 15 minutes or so....it continued. Well, they didnt seem to get much affected and thats what i learnt from them. I turned, crouched and fell asleep once again. It was cold. Really cold. But sleep was important. The showers were irregular and most probably continued whole night.....