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When you are in forest, one should not try to find out Night Spots, there is n't any! What do you do to spend time? Please find out ways to enjoy your evening like watching the moon changing phase, recite some poems, tell jokes to friends or indulge yourself in cooking, like our friend Tumpa did with the cooks. BTW he is a great cook and can cook for ten / fifteen people at a time if he has the gear! We have tasted his cooking a no of times. He cooks great fish, fish bharta ( Mashed fish with potato), chicken. So we had a great time and food. Even if you dont' know then just lend helping hand to the cooks and learn a few tips from them.
Yes! you are not allowed to venture out either in land or water, so please make sure you are safe. And please carry your drinks with you either from Kolkata, Sonakhali, Basanti or Gosaba town. If you dont know the spot, tell your boat man he will arrange it for you. May be for a little extra!
Written Jul 3, 2008
What to buy: You can buy Honey, and other village products from the villagers but the best buy remains only fish and fish. You get fresh fish always where ever you travel in Sunderban, you shall find some fisherman catching something. He will be very willing to sell his catch as he knows he will get more value than going to the middleman who will buy and then pack with ice and transfer it to large city like Kolkata. We got so many Tiger Prawns, Khoira, Lottee & other fishes we had an excellent lunch with Tumpa cooking Fish Bharta ( Mashed Fish with Potato see picture)
What to pay: As you wish but always very less than city price.
Written Jul 3, 2008
Address: Everywhere in Sunderban.
Those who are from city and have not much of interaction with rain forests or jungle are advised to remain in their boat only while travelling to Sunderban. There may be snakes, Spiders, Leeches, pack of wild dogs just waiting for you. Besides it's better not venture in the deep mud as there may be some other kind of predator waiting. Once you are stuck in the mud even for a while in flash of a second he will carry to the deep forest and never to be returned. Yes I am talking about the Great Royal Bengal Tiger! Just remember, we can't see them but they are always watching us. Please be nice to your boatman and dont' ever force him to take you or drop you in deep forest.
Recently in 2008 only at least there were three incidents of tiger entering the villages and attaking people. While two were caught by the villagers and forest officials. The TV channels went there and showed live coverage for wo days. At least 7 persons died and 12 were injured. The last incident was in June 2008. Please be a nice boy in Sunderban, someone is waiting for you at home!
Written Jul 4, 2008
If you are deciding to go to Sunderban on a boat trip, please carry your fishing gear with you. The river is full of fish you may even catch a few one. Be sure to use the correct rod and bait as these are salt water fish ( Sea Fish). We are used to fish in pond so we had only Fishing rod good for pond fishing. However we could catch a few though very small ones. A good fun, if you have the time please make sure you enjoy every bit.
Equipment: The Fishing rod good for Sea Fishing!
Written Jul 3, 2008
Favorite thing: On return our ordeal started in Sunderban, since the evening was setting in, we needed to start early. We started at 5.45PM for our boat parket in the river. Just about that time we learnt that it was parked in the deep river and we have to walk a bit in mud. We had no idea , what walk a bit would be. We had come during high tide ( the place is very near Bay of Bengal), so we could reach almost near the village by boat . Then the boat was parked deep in the river to avoid being staranded in the mud and wait for high tide which normally comes at around 8.00PM here. So we set for walking to the boat in the river mud ( the surface was not hard). The mud was one to one and half feet deep, walking was very difficult even for a very strong person. Then came the heavy rains and our ordeal began, we got thoroughly drenched. But on reaching water point we learnt that the large boat could not be brought near where we were standing as there water is still in very shallow depth and we need to board in near a creek. We were already very tired, exhausted and fully drenched along with our belonging and it was becoming dark in Sunderban. We had to walk in for another half mile in deep mud and heavy rain. Then we had to walk in about waist deep water to board in the boat for nearly 100 meters. It was totally dark then, with danger from small shark, crocodile and snakes in the river. So we formed a group at the advice from our Sunderban local guide and made lot of commotion in the water, so that the predators get scared away. Finally we reached our boat and then sail for Gathkhali for next four hours. From Gathkhali. it was about 3.30 hrs to Kolkata by SUVs. We reached home at 1.00AM fully wet for 7 hours. Next day I learnt I lost my very expensive mobile set besides other things.
Lesson learnt: Buy a water proof back pack and carry some polythene packets with sealing facility to all these kind of excursion. Have a duplicate mobile set ( a cheap one) to all these expedition. But I used the mobile for exceptional quality of picture and videos. After seven days, I could retrieve the memory chip and downloaded the videos in computer with another set. I have loaded some videos taken on that day in VT, please have a look.
Fondest memory: Italso remind us city folks, as how difficult the life is in Sunderban and their living condition. We experienced just one day but they live it this. But they too avoid venturing out this way unless it's emergency.
Written Aug 2, 2009