So, we halted for the night at the town of Rangat and stick to our schedule to go to Diglipur the next day for a tour to the fabled ( 😀 ) Ross and Smith Island…
We start early in the morning taking the sea on one side of the road. Sun god still waking up from sleep makes the surrounding roads look magical. A song in raaga “Bhairavi” comes to my mind, is it not to be sang at this time? The soft light of the early morning makes me stop the car at places and ask our driver to side the car and switch off the light, drag my self out of the car and look at the light reflecting on the water and play with the cloud.
I imagine the cloud to be the front of a big ship, floating gracefully on the silver sea underneath, coming towards me. I try to capture the beauty, but my point and shoot deems itself a little more than incapable… 😦
The coolness of the morning breeze and the smell of some unknown vegetation awakens me to a beautiful bright morning in the car front seat. Now, in the new light, I see bright green trees on both sides of the road, that reminds me of the trip through the Jarawa reserves.
We stop for the first time by a small road side shop for a round of chai. Then we start our ride again. I see a large bird sitting in middle of the road, but before we get close to see exactly what it is, it flies away making us unable to understand whether it was an eagle or a kite..
And we continue for almost another hour to finally reach Diglipur. I get excited but then have a look at the sky..its glum, almost as if going to cry..I try in my mind to sooth the baby, to cheer it up a bit, but the mood remains glum.. 😦
Here, let me give you some interesting facts about these islands. The Ross and Smith Islands also called twin islands , situated in Diglipur in North Andaman are called so for a reason.
The two islands are joined by a natural sand bar. The bar is visible during low tide. One can walk over the soft sand to reach the other Island during this time. The sand bar goes under water as the high tide comes. Smith Island is the bigger in size of the two islands. Smith island is also inhibited by some 30 families.
Ross island on the other hand is a sanctuary for mainly deers and antelopes. Permit to go to Smith island does not cost extra but Ross Island permits costs around 50 INR for Indians and 500 INR for the rest. Also, a boat from Arial Bay Jetty costs around 2500 INR for 5 people. Phew! That is enough I guess. 🙂 Next part : the journey! 🙂