Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sundarbans
October 15, 2007


I have been having so much fun seeing the Bangladeshi countryside, I thought that I would finally take a trip down to the Sundarbans for EID. The Sundarbans is the world’s largest mangrove forest. It was a cruise, so I boarded the boat at Dhaka and we took the river all the way down to the forest. When we arrived, we took smaller boats into the smaller river channels. Of course we all hoped to see one of the famous Bengal Tigers, but alas, the closest we got were some freshly made footprints. I did get to see some spotted deer and a few monkeys though.

One of my favorite creatures were the mudskippers. These guys are about as big as your pinky finger and look like the missing link between aquatic and amphibian species. I got a lot of really blurry photos of them (hey, we were in a moving boat). Then one jumped onto the side of the boat and I snapped its picture (see below).

The roots of the trees are the most unusual part of the forest. The come up out of the ground instead of down into it!

The cruise had a great mix of Bangladeshi and foreign guests. I made several friends on the trip and may have even found one of the managers for my resort! All of the people that I talked to about my eco resort project were very enthusiastic and can’t wait until it is up and running!


Mangrove Forest
This is what the trees in the forest look like. You can see their roots poking up out of the ground. It really looks like an alien landscape!

Roots
Close up shot of the roots.

More Trees
Trees and bushes by the side of one of the smaller tributaries.

Tree
Another tree... This one's roots grow from it's branches instead of up from the ground...

Water Lilies
Gorgeous water lily pond! The water lily is the national flower of Bangladesh. I want to have water lilies at my resort!

On the River
Typical village boat on the river.


Kas
This plant grows along the rivers in Bangladesh. It is hard for me to properly pronounce because there are two different kinds of "k's" in Bangla. This is the unaspirated "k". Someone told me that to pronounce it properly you have to inhale at the same time you say it so no air comes out. Well, regardless of how you pronounce it, it's pretty!


Me on the Boat
A friend took this photo on the boat. It turned out so cool! Because the camera and I were moving at the same speed I am in focus, but the beautiful sunset in the background is blurry.


Sunset
Another gorgeous sunset!


Mudskippers!
This is the semi-blurry shot of them in their natural environment (the mud of course...)


Mudskipper Up Close
This was the mudskipper who landed on my boat... It is a bit more in focus...



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