The next major towns on the coast where accommodation would be available are Okha and Dwarka. There is a smaller town called Khabaliya in-between. We decide to do Sikka and Vadinar and make an overnight stay at Khambaliya.
This is a Carwash on the way. Free. We decided to skip it although the car is dirty.
Sikka is an historical port like Mandvi. It is also involved in making and repairing wooden ships. At the waterfront one realizes that the place is more involved in trading and fishing than shipbuilding.
Pillars of an abandoned pipeline.
GSFC fertilizer plant.
MSV Noor Al Ismail being readied here can carry 4000 goats to Dubai at the time of Eid.
Sikka has a Diwadandi. We decided not to go near it to save time.
Between Sikka and Vadinar at Moti Khavdi we cross the third Guinness record on this trip. The first one was river Machchu dam failure which reportedly killed 25000, a record for deaths in dam failures. This was followed by the Bala Hanuman Temple at Jamnagar which claims to be the place for religious chanting ( Jai Jai ram) continuously since 1964, Here is the third. The world’s largest refinery.
Vadinar is known for off-shore oil terminals and not for dry cargo. There was no point in seeking permission to enter. The car in front of us turned back within seconds. The important industrial unit here is the Essar Refinery. Vadinar is important for another reason. It is the Gateway to Narara, another important bio-diversity centre and a part of the Marine National Park.
We come to the main road and proceed towards Khambaliya. We see these goats who will be found on MSV Noor Al Ismail a few months hence, on their way to Dubai.
A few kilometres before Khambaliya is a dam maintained by Kandla Ports Authority to supply fresh water to the ports and terminals on the seashore. The dam is a beautiful sight.
Salaya is 12 Kms from Khambaliya town. Quite an active port and fishing harbour. Ship repair activity is in full swing as the monsoon is coming to an end and the boats have to get back into business.
Some shipbuilding activity is also on.
Salaya has an attractive mosque.
10 Kms. from Salaya is a jetty and pipeline under construction for Essar group. We are told that it is being objected to by residents of Salaya and work has currently stopped. A Ashapura Mata temple exists on the shore which is also a part of the Marine Sanctuary.
Google map shows some places between Salaya and Positra on the sea-side which do not exist. We spend half a day looking for them. The name Janvar appears at three different places on the map. Hotel Swati appears in the sea. Ajad Tapu ( Tapu means island in Gujarati) appears on the land. The villages around are green after the rains and are exquisitely beautiful. We could see some beautiful flowering plants and cactus.
We return back to the main road and proceed to our next stop which is Okha. We go back again to the smaller coastal roads so that we drive closer to the sea and also see some village life. For this we are rewarded with some car-seat birding opportunities we will always remember.
Suryakiran & Veena Naik
26th August 2016
Posted on 29.08.2016.