The entire team decided to take a safari into the jungle to the largest delta in the world. We went by boat to see the mangrove forests in the delta region of West Bengal and also one of the largest reserves for the Royal Bengal Tiger. They say that you might be lucky to see these tigers in the wild….sadly, we weren’t that lucky…but we still had a great time!
We saw dolphins, many different types of birds, a wild boar, spotted deer, crabs, mud skippers and monkeys. As we cruised by the mangrove trees, you could squint your eyes and watch the alternating light and shadow and imagine that the tigers were watching you go by.
Here’s a breakdown of the weekend:
8.00 am: Left the Senator Hotel first thing in the morning. Our bus ride was 3+ hours to reach Godkhali Port where the main road ends. The ride was very bumpy and also stop-and-go the whole way. We were all a little rattled at the end of this leg.
12:00 pm: Boarded our boat and started our journey on the river. The top deck was set up for nature viewing. The lower deck had the sleeping cabins, bathroom and kitchen. The plan was for 11 CSC team members, 2 guides, and 3 crew to all spend the night on the boat pictured below.
3.00 pm: We docked the boat and went on the village walking tour to see the local market, honey collectors and fishermen.
7.00 pm: Our guide was informed that a storm was going to come in that night and it wasn’t safe for us to stay on the boat. He was able to secure rooms for us at one of the lodges just outside of the reserve. In the end, it was probably for the best since we couldn’t figure out how everyone was going to fit into a sleeping area for the night anyway.
9.00 pm: We had dinner at the lodge in the outdoor patio area. We shared the large patio with a few other families who were singing regional songs. The music was entertaining.
6.00 am: We had breakfast on the boat en route to the entrance to the reserve. Our guide was the first in line to get our day permits to enter the park. Over the course of the day, we went to 3 watch towers and got a birds-eye view of the jungle and a few spotted deer.
In between the watch towers, we sat on the top deck watching the scenery, playing cards and competing in Carrom (a popular East Asian board game that is sort of like billiards). They boat crew got in on the action and helped us with some strategy and then challenged Tiago and Flavio to a game. Team Brazil won!
4.00 pm: We got back on the bus for 3+ hours and all feel asleep for most of the ride
8 pm: We arrived back at the Senator Hotel in Kolkata tired and dirty but met for dinner to recap our adventure.
A big thank you goes out to Steve and Matilde for organizing the trip. It was great!
See more photos at flickr.com/jilldaffodil.