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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Shankurpur






After running back into the house at least twice for such necessities as a computer charger, a cell phone, and chocolates, we finally made it out of Kolkata. Weve been wanting to spend a long weekend outside of the city but haven't had the chance. So, when our dear friends called us up with an invite to the beach, we were more than ready to confirm their offer. The drive out of the city was fast and crazy! We used a major highway half of the way and well paved roads for the other 1.5 hours. We successfully avoided wandering mangy dogs, bicycles trailing large bundles, massive speeding buses piled 3x high with passengers belongings, and the occasional oxen. Oh, and a ride on a major 6 lane highway at around 75 mph, can't be complete without a speeding vehicle going the wrong way- coming head on at us blaring their horn demanding we get out of their way. Honestly the journey was nice, even when we got lost and did 10 kilometers of off road driving on what we later realized were only footpaths. Our detour did enable us to see a very seaside rural West Bengal.

When we finally made it to our destination our hosts greeted us in the canteen with a lunch of rice, dal, pomfret, jack fruit curry, and potatoe crunchies. We were happy to see them and happy to have such great food. We at like this for the remainder of our trip -had tons and tons of fresh fish and hot breads. Bengali culture is known for its thorough attention to intelligence and education, this really goes with fish being brain food, they eat it at least once a day.

Next came our journey to the beach. Because it is very hot now in W. Bengal, ranging from 81- 105+ degrees we're careful not to be outside during the peak hours of sunlight- eary morning and late afternoon evening. Peak hours were spent in the air conditioned comfort of our room.... ahhh frosty (check out the shot of Sam and Nilanjana- the camera lense was very fogged up from the transition - cold room hot canteen). Anyway, to get to the beach we walked for 5 or 10 minutes through a very magical forest filled with all kinds of living creatures. Village women combed the ground for firewood while carefully making sure they don't step on sharp fallen pods from the high trees above. Cows were grazing on the short grass covering the gradually rising ground. Fishermen stretched their nylon nets out in the dry shady forest to expose the small knots that had formed from a day on the rocky sea. The eucalyptus tree tops were home to lizards, kingfishers, quick squirrels, and butterflies. ...the walk to the beach was almost better than the beach itself, where the water was warm, turbulent- great for body surfing, and full of silt. Many of India's rivers find their delta at the Bay of Bengal.

Our 2.5 days of swimming, and adventuring at the seashore were great. We now have an official spot for our weekend getaways.

Plus, on the way home we found a spot a great spot to find jilabees- really sweet friend dough!

Hope you like the pictures!

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