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On the Hoogly–The Sukapha

September 26, 2009

Efficient young men from the Assam Bengal Navigation Company picked us up at our hotel and marshaled us through the Kolkata train station for a six hour ride to Jangipur.  We arrived after dark, were trundled into a van with our luggage and traveled on shadowy roads and over a bridge to get to the muddy bank of the Hoogly River.  There we were loaded on to the “country boat” that putt-putted its way towards The Sukapha, aglow, anchored in the middle of the river, a vision from “The Heart of Darkness”.  The Sukapha was our home for the next week, and the country boat our lifeline to the shore.

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Some mornings I would take my cameras to the top deck.  Moving from air conditioning to intense humidity would always fog up the lenses.

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The Sukapha sailed down the Hoogly past people’s everyday lives.

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We passed by lush jute fields and rice paddies in the fertile Ganges Delta with only the sound of the wind and the water.

Children yelled and waved to us.  They weren’t used to seeing foreigners much less on a boat.

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This was the beginning of our unique cruise on one of the many branches of the Ganges River flowing to the Bay of Bengal to form the largest delta in the world.

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