Monday, January 11, 2010

Bird-Watching and Kite-Flying

Waking up at 5:00 a.m. after three hours of sleep was completely irrelevant when we reached the lake. Eleven of us took an hour drive to Nal Sarovar, a wetland famous during this season because of the migratory birds. A rowboat carried us across a lake as the sun rose. We saw Australian sea gulls, flamingos, and pelicans dive into the water, and when we reached the islands, we saw kingfishers, cranes and storks in the swamps.

On the islands, we walked through thick marshes and arid land, where the shepherds roam. Although the shores were crammed with people, the water seemed so silent.

All of us went to a country club (the same place we golfed) for brunch. There's nothing like masala chai and chutney sandwiches after such a tranquil morning. By the time we came back to Biraj and Nirav's home, we were exhausted.

Instead of napping, Nirav's cousins (also his neighbors) invited Joe and I to fly kites with them on the terrace across the street. While standing on the rooftop and gazing over Ahmedabad, we learned how to competitively fly kites. This Thursday is Uttarayan, the kite-flying festival, and even though it's only Sunday, the volume of kites nearly made a rainbow across the sky.

Although we started the day very early, bird-watching and kite-flying made up for the lack of sleep.