We had our final breakfast on board our vessel, Charaidew, and everybody was given the choice as to whether they wanted to go and see the critically endangered Greater Adjutant Stork, which has a stronghold at Guwahati rubbish dump or stay on the boat. Some of the ladies in the group rejected the opportunity and decided to stay onboard but everybody else was keen to get a glimpse of these massive birds. We drove to the dump with the help of our minibuses and the first thing we saw when approaching the site, were hundreds of Black Kites circling above. Then as we reached the edge of the dump, we could see the Bangladeshi migrants, who have built their homes of rubbish and live among the rubbish, moving around the rubbish heaps. For some it was hard to see people living like this but unfortunately this is a relatively common sight in India and many other developing nations around the world.
Then we got our first sight of these rather ugly storks. They towered above some of the local women and I struggled to get a photo due to the minibus' movement. As we stopped and caught the stench of the dump in our nostrils (making everyone gag), one of the locals scared all the storks away so our photo opportunities were limited. The birds had flown deeper into the dump and one had to climb the rubbish to get closer, instead I focused on the Cattle Egret and Black Kites. After ten minutes or so most people had had enough of the smell and the tour leaders decided we should return to the boat to collect our belongings and make our way to the airport for our flight to Kolkata (Calcutta).
The flight went without any difficulties and we transferred to the Hyatt hotel in Kolkata. This was where I said goodbye to the group and I was to catch the Azur Hind Express train to Nagpur, in central India. My driver and local guide got me to the station safely and found out that my train was delayed by 7 hours. After a couple of hours I was at a hotel, close to the station, for a few hours rest. The drama was to continue the following morning.
Leave a Reply.