Friday, March 25, 2016

Northeast India Trip - Ferry Across the Brahmaputra

With bleary eyes we headed to catch a ferry across the Brahmaputra.  Now it turns out there's no fixed road as the Brahmaputra, already one of the world's five largest rivers, swells enormously during monsoon and washes pretty much everything away (hence apparently the rubbish everywhere as it gets 'cleaned' annually, e.g.washed into Bangladesh and then the Bay of Bengal.

We arrived with the sun still low in sky, having slipped and slid around (and with two new tyres on the car, we'd complained that two of the tyres were bald.


Anyway on the trip it became clearer that the 'ferry' was irregular as basically you go when there are two cars.   It also turned out that the ferry is in fact a whole array of wooden boats with raised bow and stern sections and flat middle sections.

Our ferry was lashed to a boat anchored to the shore, so our driver had to descend on the two planks then drive across one boat onto the second one before applying the hand-brake and then having small rocks placed in front of and behind the tyres to stop the car from slipping off the boat:


Having boarded we set-off, with us sat in the bow section (once the two cars are on the access is narrow and the centre can only be passed by climbing over the cars).

We headed away from the shore:


As we chugged across the river, we saw an amazing array of boats coming the other way, including these two, lashed-together with two lorries aboard:


Here's another lorry specialist:


Passengers and smaller cars have dedicated transports too: 


As do buses:


I like that some of the bus passengers remain in their seats for the whole process, very trusting:




The colour, sounds and smells are amazing:


It's worth mentioning that there's a very big bridge being built and it looms on the horizon both physically and economically.  So much so that the boats aren't being maintained, as evidenced by the small boys bailing us out as we made our way across the river.

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