Flight to the past
The coming era is permeated with computer technologies, and the speed of knowledge of the world increases in proportion to an increase in the processing rate of information processor. But there is a place on the planet, in which the time seems to have once stopped.
So, going on the Peninsula Kotch Indian State Gujarat, suddenly understand that this is a flight "in the past". The conductor pulls for a lace attached to the bell in the driver’s cabin, the bus starts, men litter "Bidi", rapidly filling salon caviar smoke. Men here are high turbans, and women – bright sari. Gold earrosters in women’s noses are sometimes so massive that women are tapping their hair curls. The final station is an ancient port city of Lakpot, a settlement, located 34 km from Indian-Pakistani border. Before you visited, you need to place a special pass at the police station.
After a few stops, the pass between the seats of the bus is littered with bags and drawers, and new passengers sit on their luggage. No vacant tables. During the day, the bus turns out several times overflowing and empty several times. Seven or eight hours of the path through a narrow uneven road Our bus goes to a small yellow sand plain. In the distance, in the light of the setting sun, a long fortress wall is guessed. The bus in a few minutes reaches the walls of the fort and through the city gate drives inside.
Lakpota creates the impression of the scenery left after the filming of the historical film, where the action took place three hundred and. The city is surrounded by a fortest wall with bastions. There are no buildings for the fortress wall in a cloth. The city is also afraid of sudden raids and attacks. And an old man on one of the fortress towers, in a white, waving a bathrobe, patiently peers into the approaching bus, like the hour. Settlement along with a large platform for playing cricket takes less than half of the Fort Square. Little neat houses with tiled roofs are closely stripped to each other, despite the fact that there are still plenty of places inside the walls. Everything else is sand dunes, crushing spiny.
There are no hotels and guesthouses in Lakpote. You can stay here in the Temple in Sikhov, which provide overnight stays not only for pilgrims-co-workers, but also for all travelers. Sikhi believe in one God, rebirth and karma. In addition to the Sikh temple in Lakpote there is an ancient Muslim tomb, mosque and several Hindu temples. And the Arabian Sea begins for the fort, exposing the wet il during the sings to the horizon itself. And, it seems that the laccot is still waiting for his ships, still keeps the inaccessibility of the walls and the power of the towers, not noticing how the world has changed. Although today he has already lost his port appointment.
However, it was precisely against Indian shipbuilding that the world has not changed very. The process of building ships in the seaside city of Mandwi on the peninsula Kotch remains the same, despite all the arguments of the XXI century in favor of new technologies and materials. Huge wooden transport ships are built here. And to see these dinosaurs of shipbuilding, we go to Mandwi. Our small fishing barcas sails from the pier of the ancient city-port of Lakpot, taking a course on an ancient shipyard, which over time he did not lose its relevance. Slowing along the Western Indian coast, you see how sand dunes are crashed into the Arabian Sea, creating kilometers of empty beaches. Several times we met a group of swimming women entering the water in Sari, and energetically masher handing a passing boat.
In Mandwi, the narrow bay of the Arabian Sea comes, on the shores of which the construction of ships is underway. Periodic tides and flows make this place especially convenient for shipbuilding, and then for the descent of the finished ship on the water. There are transport ships, capable of transporting about 2000 tone of cargo. The construction process lasts 2-3 years and is conducted by a team of 20-30 people. The ultimate cost of such a vessel is approximately 3 million Indian rupees (about $ 70,000). The shipbuilding is predominantly used forest purchased in Malaysia. This increases the cost of work, but those who want to build ships here less does not become less. On those under construction in Mandwi courts, the flags of India, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries, are subject to shipowners who have been putting out their order here. Ships of this design are used to transport goods between countries in Asia and Africa.
On numerous shipyards you can see ships at different production stages. Some like giant skeletons are just beginning to shifted by boards, and on other workers already finish to resin the side and on the nasal part the artist gently displays the last letters of the name. Hanging black mounted sides above low-rise houses, vessels seem just gigantic.
Mandwi is also the city of captains. Determine the personality of a person to this caste easily in appearance. Dressed always neatly and purely, in a white shirt and ironed pants, it is an embodiment of self-confidence and energeticness. He speaks good English, he has a clock on a chain, living eyes and strong tea. To the question of whether it is difficult to manage such a big ship, he only laughs and says that it is much more difficult to stay on the shore.
India often archaic is adjacent to modernity. Not far from Mandwi, in the city of Alang, 20,000 business days and night build tankers, warships and modern transport ships. In 2002 representatives "Greenpeace" Visited this enterprise under the guise of buyers and collected materials illustrating extremely difficult working conditions of workers and high levels of environmental pollution.
Construction of wooden vessels in Mandwi on the peninsula Kotch hardly ever get into the category "harmful" Production. And most likely, this unique phenomenon will comprehend the fate of the lacpota, an ancient port without ships, turning the blooming Mandwi to the city of orphaned without the work of carpenters, in the empty shipyard. However, the city begins to be popular among Indian tourists who come to relax on the quiet, calm and empty beaches of the Kotch peninsula. Mandwi has every chance to turn into a tourist center in the future. In the meantime, there is also the opportunity to see the Indian seaside town of shipbuilders and captains before the arrival of the ubiquitous tourist industry.