Hunting for tigers in the forest
Sunderbans Travel Blog› entry 22 of 32 › view all entries
After saying goodbye in the morning, I headed to West Bengal Tourism for a bus to the Sunderbans. This is the world's largest mangrove forest and straddles both India and Bangladesh along the Indian ocean. It is home to the Bengal tiger, as well as other animals. I was seated next to Olle, a Swedish Phd student in theoretical physics. In front of us was Bjarke, a Danish musician. As the only "Westerners" on the trip, we ended up spending the entire trip together which was great fun.
One long and very warm bus ride later through some very scenic countryside, we were dropped off the bus. I was wrangled onto a "trolley" with one guy riding a bike in front and two kids pushing in the back that rushed me to the dock. We then climbed on a boat that took us to our actual vessel.
Most of the time we sat on deck sipping our tea and chatting while watching the forst breeze by. We also met Benjamin from Chennai who was great to spend time with and gave us plenty of advice on India. He even had internet access out there so I was able to show the guys pics from my trip by uploading my blog. In the evening, the rest of the group played a game where they would sing songs back and forth, but most of the songs were in Hindi so we mostly just watched. I was very sad when it was finally time to go back.
Luckily we got back an hour early (I was a bit worried since I had a train that evening). I even had time to go to a local restaurant to try tiger prawns- huge shrimp that are raised locally. The Kolkata train station was very nice and impressive. I was surprised to see that people could actually drive right in and up to their trains. In my compartment was an Indian couple traveling with their 1 1/2 year old grandson who was very cute and played with me most of the trip.