Saturday, May 2, 2015

Day-2: Exploring Shonar Chor (সোনার চরে ঘুরে বেড়ানো)


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Saturday, 20 December 2014


This is the Day-2 of our trip and continuation of the Day-1 from this trip. If you have time then you can scheme through the Day-1 as well.





Good morning everyone from the remote island Sonarchor (সোনারচর). Last night I didn't have that much of sound sleep, but I have enjoyed my hours while I was awaken. The murmuring sound of the ocean was rhythmic and euphonic. The morning was not like a typical winter morning, rather it was as usual (or sometimes feeling a bit hot). I have just popped out my head from the window and found a crescent moon was still there on the Eastern sky. I have never seen such moon during early morning.





Last night the water came so near to our tent and I have already mentioned that (in Day-1) I was slightly feeling jumpy to get washed away by the water. But eventually that didn't happen. After stretching the body and walking around I have finished my early morning work with the help of the forest. Still few foxes were scouting around even at that morning. I am not sure how they have acted during the night, when we were sleeping. And I don't wanna know about that as well!





After refreshing, few of us regrouped together (and few were still sleeping inside the tents). The crescent moon was fading away as the red sun was started to showing up. I use to get chance to see the sunset often. But rarely I get a chance to see the sunrise. It is a lovely view, and the moment is something ineffable when the sunrise happens at the far horizon.


Crescent moon at the early morning.



We didn't get a chance to explore the forest behind our tent yet. So we have decided to explore this forest for a bit. Actually it has a firmly built two room house inside the forest (for the employees of forest department). But those were locked and no one was living there. They have a pump well in front of the small building. We have used that one to get fresh water.


Our campsite at the early morning. You can see how close the water was near the tents.



Initial part of the backside forest is easily accessible, but later it became too dense. And also the forest is having a narrow canal that actually thwarted us to move at the other side. We have walked around the canal for few minutes. Basically we were exploring the area as well as were looking for the birds. As this was very early in the morning, and we have forests around, I thought we could encounter few birds around. But alas! noting was found. The forest was literally calm and quiet. Even it was very rare to hear the chirping sound of the small birds.


Our boat. It was there anchoring the whole night.



We have returned back to our tent and checked the status of the others. They were still sleeping inside the tents. So we didn't disturb them and started exploring the Northern side from our tent and we were expecting to see some birds around there. But once again, most of the birds were the Black drongo, or the Red vented bulbul, and sometimes a lonely Indian pond heron (though that is beside an ocean!).


Sunrise at Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



We have found a small little bird (common around here at shoreline). The wasn't flying, rather walking on the beach. We have spent around 30 minutes behind that bird. Whenever we were trying to get closer to the bird, it just moved away by walking (not flying). And it was funny as how the bird was making the steps by quick feet movements.


Sunrise at Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



There is a canal available at the island that has a ghat (ঘাট). The boats from the Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী) route uses to anchor here. The government has built this ghat (ঘাট) for the public uses. I believe they have a plan to introduce a tourism here in this remote island. In fact, lot of local tourists use to visit here (as we have seen that yesterday).


Sunrise at Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



There was a fisherman collecting the crabs from the net. In this part of the Bangladesh, lot of fishermen use to catch crab instead of fish. We have had a pause around him and had a chat with him. He was there with two of his kids (one boy and one girl, probably 8-10 years old). They were very very poor and live at another island named Chor Montaz (চর মোন্তাজ) that is a bit further from here. They use to spend the night here in the boat.


Sunrise over our tent.



I wanted to explore the canal with an engine-less boat. And this poor guy's boat was perfect for us. So I asked him whether we could use his boat (and of course with pay). But he had an urgency to place his nets as the low tide is the best time to do so. He gave an helpless eyes to us that we couldn't force him further. His work is more important compare to our recreation.


Sunrise over my tent.



The larger canal generated a smaller canal from it and that once again stopped us to progress further. So we had to return back from there once again. And we started returning back to our tent once again. This time we have observed the Plaintive cuckoo, Pied kingfisher, Black capped kingfisher, Common redshank, Little cormorant, Common Kingfisher, etc birds. I was happy as few of the birds were new to me.


Sunrise over our boat.



Once again we have returned back to the tent. This time the sun was really scorching and we were sweating. My other mates have waken up from the tent, and in fact they were swimming! They are not adventurous like us and they like this sort of activities. So we let them to do their work, and we started to move to the Southern side for another little exploration. This portion is having white sandy beach. Most of our Bangladeshi beaches are as usual. We rarely see the sandy beaches around.


Beach, boat, and sunrise.



One thing I forgot to mention, we have heard a bird was calling like hah-ha and haaaa. The sound was horror like and inside a silent forest it is really a scary one and shivers your back. This is nothing but the Eurasian collared dove bird. This bird is commonly seen across the Bangladesh, and it is a beautiful greyish bird. I have taken few of the good shots of this bird. Apart from this bird we have seen Striated babbler, Green bee eater, White wagtail, Western yellow wagtail, Barn swallow, Little egret, Seagulls, etc birds.


Sunrise reflection into the water.



The walking and exploring was a fun, and we could continue this task forever. But we had to stop this act as we were going to leave this island soon. We had another destination, and it was the Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী) island. So we have packed our camera and started returning back to the tent with quick steps. Few of us have already folded their tents and waiting for us. I have packed my tent and bags quickly and jumped inside the boat. Before jumping inside the boat we had to do some pushing as it was stuck on the sand.


Our tents.



It was around 10:00 am or 10:30 am at the morning when we have started out boat for the Chor Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী). We have had a quick snacks at the boat as a breakfast. After that it was a long and boring journey through the mid ocean. Nothing is visible around, only the ocean and the island that we have just left behind. And the sun was really bright in the sky. It was practically burning us. Most of us fall in a sleep during this tired journey.


A canal inside the forest.



Once again it took us around 90 minutes or more to get a sight of the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী). We were moving our boat across the shoreline of the island. The island was at the left side of us. The view of the island was really amazing. It was having plenty of trees around with a lovely beach. We have found lot of trees on there uprooted. As per the boatman, those were done by the Cyclone Aila during 2009. Once again, those poor trees tried to lessen the strength of the cyclone by paying their lives. From the far sight, we have observed a flock of Ruddy shelduck, Black headed Ibis, etc birds. Once again I have never seen these birds before.


Inside the forest.



We were actually moving and moving, but our destination haven't reached. In fact we have encircled the island almost fully. So I was in fact unsure what was the plan of our tour planner and the boatman. But anyway, I was enjoying the picturesque views. At one point our boat was moving beside the island at where we have found some locality. Most of those houses were poorly built (you can say them as a hut which are made from the hays).


The beautiful view of the beach at Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



The harvesting has just finished, the field is still remained golden for the paddy plants. On that golden field, the cowboys were grazing their herd. They all were so lovely to watch. But one thing that was hurting us the devastation of the land collapsing due to the crushing wave of the channel. We have seen the huge piles of lands were disappeared with those waves. In fact the people who had houses there just shifted from there, only the traces of the houses were available.


Footprint of a fox into the beach.



Our boat was roaming around for a long period and it was never tried to enter inside the island, rather moving across the shoreline. Probably it was around 2:00 pm of the day and we wanted to know the plan of ours. We have asked them and the boatman, and found a miscommunication had happened. The boatman though this as a two days trip and he was preparing to take back to the Kochchhopia (কচ্ছপিয়া) from where we have started our boat. So everything got cleared to us, and we instructed him to take us to the Kukri-mukri bazaar (কুকরী-মুকরী বাজার). The route was again using the same canal that we have used yesterday.


This bird was shy. Couldn't reach nearer as it was moving further away.



After dropping us to the Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী) bazaar, our boatman left us. He was talking about some sort of urgency regarding to visit her daughter who was expecting to have a baby very soon. And also he didn't have any plan for three day's trip. So we paid him, and thanked him. After that we have had our late lunch at the hotel of the bazaar. They had to cook the food (rice and egg) for us as everything were finished.


Beach of Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



Many men many minds. We had to struggle a bit to decide regarding where to stay during the night. I wanted to stay at the campsite, and go there straightway without having the lunch. But we couldn't as few of the members were new and not habituated with tough tours. Besides, we didn't have enough resources for the camping (we had to buy from the market). So we have decided to stay at the rest house of the Union parishad (ইউনিয়ন পরিষদ). It requires a permission from the local chairman to stay there. We got that from him as he was there that day.





There was a program going on at Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী). It was related to create an awareness between the villagers regarding the cyclone. Along with the District Commissionaire few of other visitors were the VIP guest there. The villagers were waiting at the bazaar with banner and festoon. The villagers thought we were amongst those visitors, and they have started giving slogan and walking around the street after seeing us. It was hilarious and funny, and we couldn't stop us from laughing.


A Black-capped kingfisher.



After dropping our baggage at the room, we moved out as it was near about the sunset. We had a walk around the village road and found an open space at one place. There were few bench like things and we sat on them and enjoyed the sunset. The sunset was too much red today and I have enjoyed that with my mates. After the sunset we have stayed there for a while and returned back to the room.


Red-vented bulbul eating a flower.



For the night activity, my friends wanted to have a Barbi-Q of crabs. They have bought few from the local whole seller. They use to export the crabs from here to the Dhaka or Chittagong. I wasn't interested about this Barbi-Q as I personally do not like crabs or shrimps [but that doesn't mean that I do not eat :-)].


A road at Shonar chor (সোনার চর).



We had a dinner from the same hotel of the bazaar and after that I went back to the room. My friends were busy with doing the Barbi-Q of the crabs and I was sleeping on my bed. I didn't know when I fell on sleep. During my sleep I got the noises from my friends but those were too much scattered and random that I couldn't remember anything.


Otoshi ful (অতসী ফুল).



By the way, we have booked a small boat for the next day. It was probably 1200 Taka. He was supposed to help us exploring the Kukri-mukri (কুকরী-মুকরী) island and after that would drop us at the Kochchhopia ghat (কচ্ছপিয়া ঘাট). So the escape plan was all set, and I was very happy by that.


A Plaintive cuckoo.



A Plaintive cuckoo.



Hargoja ful (হারগোজা ফুল).



A Pied kingfisher.



A canal.



An Eurasian collared dove.



A beautiful tree inside the forest.



A beautiful tree inside the forest.



A striated babbler.



Beach of Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



A Barn swallow.



A Barn swallow.



A lovely mussel.



An Eurasian collared dove.



Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



A Western yellow wagtail.



A Little egret.



A burgeon, growing for the future.



Plenty of white mussels.



Plenty of white mussels.



A White wagtail.



Probably a Sandpiper.



A Green bee eater.



At Shonarchor (সোনার চর).



View of the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি).



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি)



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি)



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি)



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি)



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি)



A Ruddy shelduck and A Black headed Ibis.



A Ruddy shelduck and A Black headed Ibis.



At the island Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি).



A house sighted at the Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি).



At Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি).



This devastation was done by the cyclone named 'Aila' during 2009.



This devastation was done by the cyclone named 'Aila' during 2009.



Few fishing boats at the bay, resting.



A fisherman working. Probably resetting his net.



A flock of Rudy shelduck.



Beautiful Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি) island.



Boat resting at Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি) island.



An uprooted plant at Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি) island.



Land collapsing at Kukri-mukri (কুকরি-মুকরি) island.






A narrow canal entering inside the village.



A typical village hut. These sort of houses are kind of rare in Bangladesh now.






A cowboy with the herd.



Another cowboy, desi style.



It had a house over here. But they have moved away due to the rapid collapsing.



A group of cows grazing around.



A group of cows grazing around.



The devastation of the land collapsing.



A group of water buffalo were cooling themselves.



A boat is carrying some dry woods so that they can use as a fuel.



It is probably a fishing boat.



I think he is going somewhere with his private boat.



Same canal that we have used yesterday.



Golpata (গোলপাতা) tree beside the canal.



You'll see plenty of similar scenarios here in Kukri-mukri (কুকুরি-মুকরি) island.



Collecting date palm sap from the tree.



A typical village road having palm and date palm trees at the both sides.



Another typical village road. It is a pleasure to walk on such road!



Time to see the sunset at Kukri-mukri (কুকুরি-মুকরি).



The sun is slowing setting down.



Almost done, just a few remained with some lovely color in sky.



A lady is talking back her cow to the home.



The sky is still serene and clean.



The day has just gone, but left behind some colorful memories like this. I believe those will remain in my memory forever!



If you are interested in next part then please read it from the day-2.


It was a three days trip at the most Southern part of our Bangladesh. At day-1 we have done some camping at Sonar chor (সোনার চর) of Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী). At day-2 we have returned back to Kukrimukri (কুকুরি-মুকরি) and stayed there at Union Parishad (ইউনিয়ন পরিষদ) facility. At day-3 we have explored some part of Kukrimukri (কুকুরি-মুকরি) island and return back to the ferry for Dhaka by afternoon.

Towards the island Sonar Chor (সোনার চরের পথে),
Village: Shonar chor (সোনার চর),
Upazela: Rangabali (রাঙ্গাবালি উপজেলা),
District: Patuakhali (পটুয়াখালী জেলা),
Country: Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ),
GPS coordinate (21°49'30.82"N, 90°30'44.70"E)

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog http://icwow.blogspot.com/



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