The Bay of Bengal Trip
I had always been a person for the mountains. From the time I had moved to Siliguri I solely concentrated on mountaineering to be my Passion. Completed my Basic Mountaineering Course from HMI (Himalayan Mountaineering Institute), and further participated in many treks & trekking expeditions. But suddenly after I bought my bike & soon joined xKmph, something mutated in my blood. And here I am now transformed into a keen bike tourer.
An offbeat trip for me, because I can never think out of mountains. We planned to tour the most serene and untouched beaches of Bengal, where general tourists aren’t found. We planned on six beaches, Bakkhali-Frazergunj-Henry’s Island, Sankarpur, Mandarmani, Junput. Places where our bikes and us will cherish our co-existence, and so it was……a 750km trip from 26th-29th June, 2010.
(25th June, 2010)
We were 5 in number, Myself, Arghya, Dhitan, Rahul, Jico on 3 bikes. My yellow R15, Arghya’s blue R15 & Jico’s Ambition 135 were our rides.
I already told you all about Arghya, a true biker, amazing person by heart, very entertaining and a pleasant personality.
Dhitan, is a recent friend of mine, we know each other basically because of bikes and cars and such allied interests. He is known as a “Technical Guru” among us. Loves to share his gyaans and fight the justifications of his gyaans. :P Another amazing person who is a joy to ride with. He was on his first trip with friends, on top of that a “bike trip”.
Rahul, my college friend. What can I tell about him. Extremely funny because of his personality, and behaviour, if one can exploit him properly, Rahul is the person to keep you alive with loads of humour. Practically, he was the most ignorant person about bikes, but after I bought my R15, Rahul has developed this huge thirst for bikes, especially “bike wallpapers” ;). He was one of the most anxious members among us.
Jico, my school friend and now my college friend. He is a person with an uncanny sense of humour and a typical style of telling stories, which is anyday a joy to listen to. After joining our college, Jico has voluntarily stepped into the crazy path of Adventure with me and chirag, and here he was again, with 4 crazy people to conquer the beaches of Bengal.
Bandhs, have an amazing relationship with us. Again there was a bandh on the 26th and this time due to petrol price hikes. And god, what tremendous news was that for us, Rs.3.73 hike on petrol prices. We were a little bit in dismay but made up our mind that nothing could stop us.
Had a meet-up with all our friends at our Cha-thek of Golpark, had loads of best wishes in our kitty, discussed all our final tits-bits and we were back home to finish packing and have a good sleep. But alas, too much of Pre-Anxiety, couldn’t have a good sleep at all. Just waited for the night to pass by, and soon it did.
(26th June, 2010)
Roads to Namkhana:
After managing to escape from Kolkata, roads were an awesome companion to us. Butter smooth and very picturesque, the canopy of trees over the roads and pitch black roads with red soil on both sides of the road, it felt eternal. On our way to Namkhana we had stopped for breakfast at Diamond Harbour. The very wide Ganga, out here which stretched till the horizons were a treat to the eyes while sipping at a cup of tea and biting egg-toasts. We were lucky to see quite a few cargo ships as well, and took lots of photos.
Spent a lot of time at Diamond Harbour and then by 9:20 we pushed on towards Namkhana. Not too many events to share on the way, as the feeling of being on a bike trip, and the whistles of air past your helmet took a toll on us, and we kept on riding steadily. On the way, Jico had a puncture and it was then that Arghya realized that he has forgotten the Puncture Repair Kit, our fingers were to be crossed from now on. By 12:20, we were at the Namkhana Jetty.
Due to bandhs, the normal jetty was closed and now we were to cross the river by normal rowed boats. The paranoia of that boat ride is still felt in my heart beats. That really was a high Blood Pressure moment of the Trip. However, it really is a captured and cherished moment for us. The rest of the ride till frazergunj was typically through roads with a Real India essence (only that the roads were in good condition).
First encounters with the sea, Henry’s Island:
After refreshing at the resort, where I did a good job in securing rooms without money receipts, we then quickly prepared for our stroll around of Day1. Our first destination was henry’s island. It was approx 4-5kms from frazergunj. We took entry tickets from the gate and started riding. The way to the Henry’s Island beach was an amazing experience. It went through mangrove forests with brick-roads at part & clay roads for the rest. At places, the road was so narrow that even a person walking would look to balance his footsteps.
It was almost 2pm into Day 1 and we still hadn’t encountered the sea. And these narrow roads through a forest suddenly leading onto a horizonless beach that was covered with red-crabs, the feeling and rush in our blood was “ALADAiiii”…the sense of freedom and joy was so much unleashed that we almost went mad…I rode around the whole beach like a mad biker…we raced on foot (I won with dhitan, but lost to Arghya :P )…took lodsa pictures and really marked the fact that it was “ALADAiii”
After Henry’s we went to the Bakkhali beach, the crocodile park at Bakkhali and the frazergunj beach.
Finally, we decided to camp at Frazergunj beach for the serenity and emptiness of the beach. We stayed at the beach till 9:30 at night. We rode from Frazergunj to bakkhali on the beach and the unstable tires on the clayey beaches on a full moon night, was a lovely experience.