We decided that we should limit my stay at Daringbadi to only a day. So started for Puri early the next morning at around half past six O’clock. Had our breakfast from a roadside shop at Asika. Also filled up petrol from there. A view of the nice roads.
Reached NH-5 at about three hours (with half an hour break). I decided to take the shortest route to Puri, by taking the ferry at Chilka. I had taken the route from the opposite direction last year and wrote about it in this forum, please see it here
. I was confident that I shall reach Puri by one O’ clock. I knew that once I reached the highway, only twenty KM or so away was a small village named Pallur.
Reached the Pallur junction in less than 15 minutes. A enhanced view of the signboard for you, where I took the left turn.
A close up view of the place. The NH-5 is visible at right.
This is exactly after taking the turn. I had no idea that this day will be extremly thrilling and memorable for me. Only if I knew that the ferry service was closed.
A new addition to this road was the presence of innumerable speed breakers. Last year there was possibly none at all.
A view of the roads. Hardly a soul anywhere.
Just some ten KMs before I reached the ferry ghat I reached a T-junction. Unable to identify the correct road, I stopped. Two young fellows were coming towards us in a bike, whom I asked to seek direction. They were first to tell me that vessels were no more available.
I was dumb.
I had no idea that vessel services could be closed. My wige and daughter were also unhappy, because I have not gathered enough information about the unavailability of the ferry services. Taking the alternate route then meant that I had to again get back to the highway, necessitating at least another five hour drive. I did not know what to do. I continued on my way, with very little hope. Soon I reached the jetty, which was deserted. There was only a couple of auto rickshaws standing there. There was a handful of people sitting below a large tree, obviously waiting for small mechanised boats. There was also one shop selling pan (betel) and cigarettes.
As it was very hot outside, I had the AC in the car running.With my wife and daughter sitting in the car, I did not smoke for sometime, so decided to come out of the car and light up a cigarette before I could return. The pan shop was very close, so I asked him in Hindi why the ferry service was closed. I found out that the person only knew Oriya, which I did not understand. But he told me something which immediately arose my curiosity. He said the word “boat” with hands stretched. It meant that he meant big boats. I nodded in reply.
Soon two young men came and looked at my car. Both of them were boatman and understood Hindi well. They told me that they will take our boat to the opposite side at Satpada for seven hundred and fifty rupees. Possibly out of frustration I agreed, so did my wife.
The boat was brought near my car.
When I lifted my car on the boat, it was found that only the wheels could be accommodated on it. Please remember that my Tata Indigo car is almost a ten year old one, having a longer body and a more powerful engine that the present generation Indigo-CS models. Both ends were protruding outside of the boat. The boatman fellows tied all the wheels with rope. I switched the engine off, put the car in gear and engaged the handbrake.
Here we go to cross the lake.
I gathered attention of many people when I reached Satpada. And I could safely unload my car from the boat.
This is just in front of the OTDC panthanivas (hotel) in Satpada. Let me tell all of you that though Puri is only 48 KMs away from here, there are at least 250 speed breakers in this road (in a modest calculation of at least 5 per KM). So it took me almost one and half hour to reach Puri.
I could get a decent room in a hotel in Puri for Rs 1400/- only. The room was fairly large, had AC and was well furnished. As I have visited Puri many times in past, I did not come out of the hotel any more at all that day.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to put any comment or ask any question.