Battery going.. will be beack tomorrow with more....
Okay, so let's drive on.
By the way, we have driven our own vehicle practically all across this country by now, leaving out the North-East part, and Gujarat has THE BEST roads in the country. Its a beautiful, green land, dotted with natural water bodies where migratory birds flock in the autumn months. Water lillies dot the edges of the highways. One feels like stopping every now and then to take in the scenery unfolding all around you .
Since we had no sightseeing plans in Ahmedabad, we had a good night's sleep, and next morning were off again, to reach Jaamnagar, where we put up for two nights. I had heard of Jaamnagar only as the city where Nita Ambani flies to , on a regular basis, to look after the Reliance Refinery there. Images of a huge city lit up with lights, surrounded by the sea swam in fron tof my eyes as we approached the city. It turned out to be a regular Gujju place.
We went to the Marine Park at the Narara island ( will explain this in a moment ) to check out the marine life.
The Narara island becomes an island at high tide. Otherwise it looks like a constructed wall, bricks and stones clearly visible all around. That's Narara island in the photo belowThe dark blocks of stone on the left side..... At high tide, you cannot see more than a few feet of the wall but at low tide you can walk right up to the base of this 'island' and all around the area.
We were at the sea front by 11 AM, as we had been told that low tide would start at 12 noon. We had our packed lunch there, and waited some more as the water began receding back intot he Gulf of Kutch with surprising speed. There was still a lot of water at the beach for us to feel comfortable about wading in for a two KM walk ! Anyway, we were all ready with sun hats, sun protection lotion and cameras. Our kids were excited to see the Marine Park..park not as in a barricaded, marked boundry area, but a vast area of sand, stone and sea creatures bared to the sight as the water rushes away, back intot he Gulf. With a guide from the forest department showing us the camouflagued creatures, it was an interesting two hours under the bright , hot sun. I turned red under the afternoon glare..! The sun protection lotion did nothing , neither did my sun cap.
Numerous migratory birds like Ibis and local birds like herons and kingfisher flit around on the stones and rocks, looking for easy prey. Crabs, water snakes, Puffer fish, and Octopus, if you are lucky. We did not see any octopus, but we did see the bright flower like Sea Anemones. They look like a large, loose rubber band, the kind girls use to hang on their wrists, more than to tie up their hair. The guide said there are as many as 14 colours to the sea anemone. We saw only a spring green one, and a light creamy coloured one. These creatures are so sensitive to touch, that the moment they register any movement, any touch, they clam up, close their cleverly hidden pitcher-like mouths to grab whatever fish or other stuff has floated into their 'mouth.' I touched one, and it felt like a sticky, rough surface.. It vanished into the sand, right before our eyes as the guide tried to show us how the anemone reacts to touch. Clever little pretty things !!