Nijhum Dwip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ) Day-2: Exploring the Island

Saturday, 01 December 2012

This is the continuation of Day-1 from my Nijhum Dwip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ) tour.

It was our second day at this remote island. We had a plan to enjoy the sunrise at morning, but again we missed it. This time several issues which we could confront to cover our laziness. Main reason was the distance of eastern bank of the island which was a lot far from our resort. And yes its true, we were reluctant to leave the warm bed on a cold morning.

Yesterday Murad(মুরাদ) fixed a local boy named Rakib(রাকিব) as our helping hand and as a guide for our staying there. He's just a twelve or thirteen years of kid. We had a plan to explore the island by riding cycle and it is possible to hire cycle there. So, before waking up, we found Rakib(রাকিব) was calling us. He brought two cycles. One is old, and another one is new. He brought those as a sample. New cycle use to take 20 taka for an hour, while the older one goes for 10 taka.

We have freshen up within 7:45 at morning, and went to a hotel at the Namar Bazar(নামার বাজার). It was our regular tour breakfast using the Porota(পরোটা), egg, and vegetable. After that we went to that Rent-A-Cycle! store and chose five cycles. Four was newer, and one was older.

Riding bicycle at Nijhum Dip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ).

Walking under the burning sun is difficult, but riding cycle is possibly an easy task. Even our lazy Shahadat(শাহাদাত) was feeling the vibe instead of complaining. Taking photos, riding cycle on a slow pace all were really exciting at that scenic island. We have reached to the other side of the island by riding cycle quickly.

Catching fish at a narrow canal during low tide.

On our way, we found farmers were working on the ripen paddy fields. Few local guys were trying to catch the fish from the narrow canal. It was not a good time for fishing, so they had to be satisfied with small fishes. Few kids were catching crabs from the mud of canal which were drained down due to low tide.

A road through mangrove forest.

While returning from other side, we have parked our cycles at a house beside the road and then started trekking on the mangrove forest. Those trees were planted by the forest department, and lot of paddy fields are seen at the border of the forest. Even lot of villagers use to live near there too. That place is named as Purbo Onchol(পূর্ব অঞ্চল), near the Rastar Matha(রাস্তার মাথা), according to local people.

Inside the mangrove forest, everything seems same. I mean everywhere is similar. You'll feel as if you are visiting the same path again and again. People use to visit here to watch deer, but it really needs a luck to see deer there. Possible reason is the sound, since you are trekking in a group, it is difficult to maintain the silence. So I wasn't expecting to see any deer there. But suddenly Murad(মুরাদ) and Monish(মনিষ) saw a large deer which jumped inside the jungle quickly. Though we laughed at them as they might have misjudged any calf as a deer.

For these roots, its very very difficult to walk there.

After a walking of one hour or more, I gave up. I didn't want to walk on there without any objective. Lazy Shahadat(শাহাদাত) grabbed this opportunity and joined me to stay behind. Murad(মুরাদ) and Monish(মনিষ) progressed further and we were sitting there and waiting for them to return.

While we were chitchatting there, we found a group of small kids were passing us. Kids from this island is totally different from other parts of Bangladesh. They are not shy to pose for photos, or talking with you. Even they will follow you with a curious pair of eyes instead of scared to you. Those four kid girls were standing slight far from us and watching us. They were laughing at me when they found I was wearing half pant.

A lovely girl having a lovely smile.

I had few dry sweets on my bag and I offered them to eat. Slowly we started talking, and capturing photos. I came to know that they do not go to school for their study, and they were collecting dread woods from the jungle to use as a wood fuel at their burner of kitchen.

Releasing paper boats on the narrow canal.

I had a piece of paper and using that I made a small boat and floated at the narrow canal nearby. I gave them few other pieces of paper to make small paper boats. They obliged to do that with a great interest. It was a lovely moment to see those kids smiling and the urgency to complete something which they have assigned to do. Later We have floated another chunk of boats on the canal with a great clapping.

By this time another group of kids arrived, and it was a group of boys. Its already near to an hour since our two members moved further. So I asked about my mates to those kids and they confirmed that they have seen them walking beside a canal. Five minutes later with two forest guards our two fellows returned back. In fact they have lost in there and asked help to those two guards. They were chasing a bunch of deers in the woods and that compelled them to lost from track. They were excited to find deers on this jungle.

Actually we have walked further inside the jungle, and while returning back, we had to walk around an hour to get near to our cycle. I was feeling like if anyone could bring my cycle to me. But alas! walk, walk and walk.

I tried to drive my cycle through this thing.

Riding another half an hour, we have reached near to the beach. We wanted to ride our cycle on the beach. But didn't know that it required mammoth strength to run cycle on the sand. Even if you work hard, you can move your bike only a slight further on the grass. But it was crazy and I did it by draining my all strengths. The beach shore normally use to be very warm regardless the season. Before get burnt by the sun, we left that place.

When we have returned our cycles to that store, we got a bill of 360 taka in total for those five bikes. We were happy as it was cheap, and he was happy as he caught a big fish today. Kind of win-win situation. It was just after 2:30 at the noon.

So far everything went right for us and we were happy. But something unusual things were waited for us in upright. We have talked with a boatman yesterday who was interested to serve us for 800 taka or less. But today, when we found him, he was asking for 1500 taka. It was totally unexpected as he behaved. We started scolding him about his attitude and he finally agreed at 1000 taka.

The other boatmen from that ghat(ঘাট) were having similar behavior(kind of stupid) like him. So we were not interested on them anymore. Instead of exploring the Choudhury Khal(চৌধুরী খাল) for watching spotted deers, we have decided to stay back and spending the afternoon at the sea beach to enjoy another sunset. People from Nijhum Dip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ) are good as long as you do not have any financial dealings with them. Otherwise they are typical Noakhali(নোয়াখালী) people.

So with a crestfallen heart all of us went back to the hotel room, it was just near to that ghat(ঘাট). After that we had a nap of nearly two hours. Basically we were so dispirited that we didn't even talk with each other on that moment. We just had a nap, just a sound nap.

Well enough before the 5:00 at afternoon, I waked up all of our travel mates and dragged them to enjoy the sunset. Shahadat(শাহাদাত) was having a temperature on his body, it was not a fever. I think it was for that dejection. So leaving him alone on that hotel, we went to the beach for enjoying the sunset.

On our way, a dog from the resort followed us. Initially I believed that it just having a walk. But later I was confirm that it was with us. To make the thing clear, We have crossed a pool made from wood over a canal. We were sure that the do can not cross that pool So we wanted to see what he does. That dog was walking in front, a bit far from us. When it found us crossing, it just rushed back and crossed the narrow canal by jumping over mud and water. It was amazing but still I didn't find a reason why that was following us. I fear dogs, but not that one.

Local boys are playing football at beach.

On the beach, a group of local boys were playing football. What a life they were having at afternoon! After a hardworking day, they intended to finish the day with a great style. I am pretty sure that they were not bothering about the beauty, sunset, or anything. But to me, I was jealous on them. Also I could have play a bit with them, but I wasn't 100% fit as physically. So I had to be happy by watching them from the outside of boundary.

I thought I wouldn't get another chance to see this beach and sunset on that tour again. But that unwanted occurrence just opened the door for me. It was another best sunset of my life. It's been a long time since I saw the sun on such a round shape. The sun was appearing like a red plate on the far sky. Just an ineffable things to write here.

Before the sunset, the sun got a clear shape of red plate.

We were sitting on a boat on the beach and gossiping even after the darkness started. Suddenly we found Shahadat(শাহাদাত) was coming towards us with our helping boy Rakib(রাকিব). As all of us were there, we didn't find any urgency to return back to the room. Instead, we have enjoyed a sky full of stars beside the beach. Full of darkness and a clear sky gifted us a skyfull of stars. Losing stars were common there and continuous staring at those stars caused hallucination like seeing moving stars. It was weird but fascinating.

We didn't do any BBQ that night. So nothing special happened later. Despite of so many ups and downs, it was another remarkable day of my traveling. If you have time then you might find the Day-3 is also interesting.

A village beside the mangrove forest at Nijhum Dip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ).

Local people say this Kakra Ful(কাকড়া ফুল).

Hardworking kids in the woods.

People call this Nona Gachh(নোনা গাছ), it tastes salty if you touch this leaf using tongue.

A phallic root from the woods.

Local name of the flower is Boli Ful(বোলি ফুল).

These kids wanted me to shoot them a photo.

We sat on that boat and enjoyed the sunset.

Leftover of the sunset.

Nijhum Dip (নিঝুম দ্বীপ),
Thana: Hatia (হাতিয়া),
District: Noakhali (নোয়াখালী),
Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)

This article is written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog