Photo Travelogue :
Read first part - Here!
This day was simply incredible, surreal...and even though a bit jerky, it was all worth it in the end ~ because of the experience it gave. And what an experience it was!
Right after a sumptuous breakfast at Daiwik, as we drove on our vehicle, the car took a sudden turn inside a small lane. The driver told us that we'll have to get into the other special 3-gear jeep, for our onward journey to Dhanushkodi - its same road that we had taken earlier to Kothandaramar, only further ahead lies Dhanushkodi. While we jumped off the vehicle, the others started going inside the lane. I spotted some sea-shell stores selling beautiful stuff, but, what I saw next blew my mind altogether. Former Prez.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam's own home. Yes, this is supposedly his ancestral home, where he grew up. Ain't that cool.
Next, we soon got inside our new vehicle for the hour-an-half+ ride towards Dhanushkodi. On our way, we spotted the last electric pole, and beyond that the place - mainly consisting of small villages ( about 400 or so ), didn't have any electricity. As the drive continued, we could see how the flora on both the sides of road changed ~ from shrubs, mangroves to tall trees.
The soil too changed - from normal to sandy with rocks.
This of course, is the insides of our jeep :-)
So, we reached a point; and just when we were about to take off on a thrilling off-roading ride, in the middle of the seas, our vehicle's wheel got stuck in the sand real bad. It took an army of villagers, standing nearby, to push the vehicle out finally. But sadly, it couldn't go ahead. So, another vehicle was called for. But, that would take almost 2-3 hours. What do we so in between? We took pictures of people and stray-dogs sitting idly, strolled in at the stalls on the beach, did our tasks, walked here and there on the sand and watched the crowd enjoy bathing in the water.
These people really loved posing for my camera ;-)
The sun was scorching right above our heads. Luckily, we found an ice-cream van and had one cone each. I was so exhausted, I went to the driver's seat for a while to rest my tired legs. All that standing in the heat began taking a toll on me, and I started feeling unwell. When the others went to a dinghy dhaba, I nearly puked. It smelt of rotten-fish. The sight of it too, made me totally lose it and I knew I couldn't go ahead on that bumpy ride, that awaited. Oh! I wanted to so much, but, I was very dehydrated and nearly on the verge of collapse by then. The others were reluctant to send me alone in the jeep that was waiting for the other one to arrive. Yes, the same one that had got stuck in the sand. But, we know when our body can't handle it anymore, so, I stuck to my decision to head back to the hotel. I went and sat on the jeep, to take me back. The other jeep came too by then, but knowing the road would be really jumpy, I refused.
The ride back was a thrilling adventure in itself. It was a long lonely stretch of road and I knew nothing of the local language. Though, the vehicle was going okay on the concrete road at first, the driver started to act weird. He kept stopping the car ( at every few minutes ), called someone and ultimately said that the jeep had broken down. My heart was in my mouth. What if some LTTE kidnaps me? Ah, scary thoughts started haunting as I watched the driver take out all kinds of tools, from the back of his car - to fix the tyres. Suspiciously, it was not the wheel that had got stuck, rather the opposite one. I was very scared by then. He called someone in tamil, and I was sure it was a kidnapping plan. I needed to get out of the jeep fast, I thought, and started looking for passing cars. Any car would do, at least, they would not know this driver. To my relief, an auto was coming, and I literally ran the to middle of road, waving both my hands to stop it - and asked for a lift. It was a tourist auto. And thankfully for Rs.150/- they agreed to drop me at the hotel, which they seemed to know quite well. I was ready to pay any amount, I was so desperate to get out of that place. I jumped in immediately, glad to be away from that jeep at last.
As civilization approached once again, I finally heaved a sigh of relief. That was our last night in Rameshwaram; the next morning we'd check out of the hotel and move towards Kanyakumari.
Dhanushkodi - Dhanushkodi or Danushkodi is a ghost town at the south-eastern tip of Pamban Island of the Tamil Nadu state of India. Dhanushkodi is situated to the South-East of Pamban. Danushkodi is about 18 miles West of Talaimannar in Sri Lanka.
Read next part - Here! Stay tuned for all my road, rail, flight, cruise & walk trips.
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