Pretty much passed out on the night bus only to be woken up at 3.30am by the inconsiderate assholes in the bunk next to us who decided that it would be a good time to begin singing and shouting. Jayne asked them nicely to be quiet – which had no success as they started singing in her face. It was at this point, and the first time in India, that I totally lost it!! I threw open our curtain and shouted ‘Oh. My. Go. Shut. Up!’. Clearly I haven’t lost my teacher tone because the 18 years olds were absolutely silent for the rest of the bus journey. In fact, when it was time to get off the bud, they stayed hidden behind their curtain util we had gotten off the bus… Felt a bit guilty at this point but Jayne told me to stop worrying! Collected our bags from the hold and then started walking towards the tour agency to go on our jungle tour. As the bus got in at 6am, we were ridiculously early for our tour – nothing was open! Sat outside the tour office drinking chai and eating biscuits. The neighbours of the tour company came out and tried to wake the guys sleeping in the shop with no success. Tried to explain that we were early but, once again, my lack of Hindi hindered me!! The shop opened at 8am and once all the other guests arrived, we jumped into a minibus with a sandwich for breakfast and began our 3-hour journey to the mangrove forest. The bus was drive by someone so nuts that the guide noticed Jayne wincing every 2 minutes so he made him pull over and they swapped seats. A significantly slower drive after that, listening to a random mix of music including Afro Man’s ‘because I got high’, which I haven’t heard in about 10 years. I also hadn’t heard one of the verse before – clearly England had censored it – but listening to tow Indian guys sing sexually explicit lyrics to a bus full of tourists was quite something! Arrived in a port and took a local ferry across the river with a boat hand scooping out water from the bottom of the boat as we crossed…Arrived (somehow!) on the other side of the river and jumped into a different type of TukTuk which had no seats, just a flat bit to sit on. 30 minutes of holding on tightly to the vehicle, our belongings and each other, we took another local ferry to get us the rest of the way to the Eco village. Arrived and had an amazing lunch of vegetable curry and more of it than we’d normally eat in a whole day! Went for a walk around the local village, watching them cut the rice crops in the field and then strip the rice from the sheaths using a foot operated machine. Jayne had a go and managed to jam it within 10 seconds!Continued walking around the village until we reached a dock where we boarded a rather uncomfortable paddle boat. Took a tow hour trip around the nearby mangrove forest, where the flowing tide brought us further into the mangroves, looking out for wildlife. I’m sure it was just my imagination but I kept seeing flashes of orange amongst the trees! Really enjoyed the peace and quiet of the jungle with the lapping of the waves.Came back to the Eco village and ate some vegetable pakora whilst listening to some local folk music. The one string instrument was interesting and when the guy played it, his hand move so fats it was blurry! Had dinner (again eating way too much!!) and then played a few rounds of UNO before going to be and passing out by 9.30pm, listening to crickets and other jungle noises.
Monday 21st December 2015