Yesterday, I asked if I could visit the Friday market so today after lunch I set off with Raj (naturalist) and Angashka (intern) for market 22km away.
We passed through small villages where people were harvesting their rice crops and then from roads onto rough tracks alongside the Buffer Zone of the park. We crossed two streams on the way, with cows grazing in one of them. Then through a larger village with a Post Office (and a rusty post box on the wall), which had a shrine decked out for the feast of Dussehra, which was today.
Sarekha was full of people, cars, bikes – and buses, although Raj said that it was quieter than usual. Stalls were beautifully laid out with vegetables and fruit, spices, limestone to whiten your house, shoes clothes, jewellery and much more. I bought a small amount of turmeric root for 20p and nothing else. I’m always tempted to buy spices but I already have most of them in my cupboard.
On the way home, Raj saw a Flap Shell Turtle on the roadside and picked it up to put it in the river. It looked very angry, when it stuck its head way out of its shell. He said they can give a nasty bite and its claws scratched Angashka when she held it. A feisty little thing at only about 6ins along its shell. It swam off like a flash when Raj popped it back in the middle of the stream.
I loved it that the children all waved and shouted to us and I want to ask questions about their education. Each village had a school but they looked very run down. What aspirations do these children have?