Hello, welcome back! 🙂
While travelling from Port Blair to Diglipur in North Andaman, one has to cross the creeks at two places, first from middle strait to Baratang and then from Kadamtala to Uttara.
We came till middle straight check post. Here , the ATR is divided by a creek which is connected via barge. The barges carry both the vehicles and the travelers and each vehicle in the convoy has to wait for its turn to get on the barge to get to the other side which is Baratang.
Similar connectivity is in place from Kadamtala to Uttara to finally reach the district of North and Middle Andamans. We saw one of the barge come and take the buses and some govt official cars before us in the convoy that came.
While we waited, we relished on the beautiful scene there, the sky partially cloudy, just enough to keep out the heat of the sun, and the rest in blue with white clouds looked serene and beautiful, like some picture book! We found some beautiful fishes at the bottom of the platform and were keen to see them and went pretty close to the water.
Which, considering what I learnt afterwards was very brave. Did I mention this creeks are infested with salt water crocodiles? Don’t trust me? see for yourself, the authority has posted warning signs to make people aware.
I was told that especially the creek between Kadamtala and Uttara is densely populated by our saltie friends 🙂 and that there have been several sightings / incidents (yikes!) at these places. This was the first time I saw these signs in my life, and these continued throughout the trip.. 🙂 It took a little while for me to realize the actual impact, this was not a zoo, but a hard reality in the lives of these people living over here..encountering salties as part of their daily life…ahem..interesting o say the least… 😀
So we waited for our turn to get on to the barge. The Barge carried a bus and a few other cars including some people.
I got busy taking pictures from the barge of the creek and the surrounding mangroves while the barge took us to our destination swimming through the creek.
It seemed almost like the pictures I saw of the backwaters in Kerala.
The sky , blue despite some passing clouds, looked itself in the water. Some birds chirping nearby and the sound of the engine of the barge were the only sounds. It felt very close to the nature. I was suddenly transformed as if into a different world, the world that was, and not the one we live in in our daily lives. These encounters with these moments, which makes you skip a heartbeat and suddenly wish the time would stop are so rare in our daily lives. So, I decided to just stare at the sky and the water and trees like a child who has seen the sky for the first time , unapologetic and in awe..
After reaching Uttara jetty, From here on, we travel through the district of North and middle Andaman. Uttara jetty to Rangat in middle Andaman takes about 2 hours by car.
Rangat to Diglipur again takes around 3 hours by car, but since there are many beaches to be visited en route, it generally takes more time. So one needs to start early from Middle Andaman (Rangat) to reach the North Andaman.we again go through some village road surrounded on both sides in rice paddies and a bit far what seems to me like a jungle of…eh..coconut trees….
The soil of Andaman, specially that of a bit far from sea is very fertile. Rice and vegetables are grown almost everywhere and even the islands like Havelock and Neil are also self sufficient in terms of the requirement. Coconut trees grow like weed here in the soil of the islands. Our chauffeur, Parimal, a local boy from Diglipur in North Andaman, confirms that and informs us that people do not care if coconut trees are full of fruit, no one has any strong liking of coconuts here as well, and the new trees grow to become almost like a forest of coconut trees because one does not care to take the fallen fruits from the plants. So…a small hill thatched with coconut trees..Andaman Special. 🙂
Anyways, we reach Rangat after some delay en route and check in to Hotel Priya International, just about the most decent hotel in town, close to the market. We are hungry as hell… decide to have lunch at the restaurant first and have a sumptuous lunch we retire to the plush beds in the rooms, I guess we did not care if they were plush or not, the fact of the matter was we were tired and I needed to process all that beauty I saw till here in my brain.
Next day is our big tour to Diglipur and to Ross and Smith Islands… but the sky is unhappy and wants to cry… We decide to keep the schedule as is, and I say a prayer for the skies to be clear for tomorrow before I go to sleep for the night.