30 December 2014
There was a small goof up in my Andaman plan. I was not aware that the main attraction of Diglipur, “Ross and Smith” island was closed on Tuesday. No, the Island is not closed but the boats that transport people do not ply on Tuesdays. In Andaman most of the tourist places are closed on Mondays and I had planned my trip accordingly. So when I reached Diglipur Monday late afternoon it was disappointing to hear the news!! The plan had to be changed a little.
The owner of “Pristine Beach Resort”, Alex (not our driver!!) told me the list of places to visit in Diglipur. I was bit overwhelmed by the list. Some of the places are:
· Ross and Smith island
· Mud volcano
· Saddle peak, highest in Andaman
· Albert cave
· Kalpong power project, the only hydro power station in Andaman
· Ramnagar beach
· Craggy island
We choose to visit Mud volcano in spite of less interesting experience in Baratang Island. It was about 20 km further north from Diglipur. Alex who was visiting it for the first time had to ask for directions at couple of places. The drive seemed to be a long one as the road turned from asphalt into mud and slush. Finally the road ended at the fringe of a forest with a forest department board. We had to trek in the forest to reach volcanoes.
The first volcano seemed to be a repeat of Baratang experience. But there were more volcanoes ahead. My daughter seemed to be disinterested in volcanoes and started cribbing about the walk. But then we encountered some ‘good’ volcanoes. At one place it was required to make a long jump over one of the volcano. My daughter got struck while jumping resulting in muddy shoes and legs. She hated volcanoes!!
The experience of Diglipur volcanoes was but much better than Baratang. There were many volcanoes and also some of them were big. My daughter would have enjoyed better had she not got struck in its mud. She was relieved only after washing her legs in a pond near the forest entrance.
Though Albert caves looked interesting we dropped as it required some trekking and my daughter was not ready for it.
Behind the resort was Kalipur beach, a mangrove beach. For me it was a refreshing experience to spend two evenings in that beach. First evening my family accompanied me.
Second day it was a dog that joined me!! Dogs have this strange phenomenon of accompanying strangers. He tried to get catch some marine life unsuccessfully. He got bored with his failures and decided to return back.
The trees in the beach gave a new perspective. The island nearby seemed to be ‘just’ reachable!!
The saddle peak seen from the beach. The weather was cloudy throughout the day and hence I did not think about climbing it. It would take about 4-6 hours for climb up and down.
The beach was also rich in ‘small life’. The tadpoles jumping on a rock.
The most interesting creates were the ones inside seashells. They looked like empty shells. Sit without making sound or movements and then they slowly open up!!
This guy is hiding!!
Kalipur beach is also a turtle nesting place. They come at late night and lay eggs. I was unlucky in that aspect. On the first night I was lazy to get up in the night when turtles had appeared. On second night, I waited till 1AM in the night turtles did not show up. I could not contain my sleep any longer and headed back to resort.