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Henry Island - A weekend with a 100cc motor cycle

 Before 2010 I was mostly a biker. Many people from Eastern region still knows me as a biker. I have started learning to ride when I was 14 in my father's Hero Honda CD100SS and after that I have owned numerous bikes from TVS Apache RTR to KTM Duke 200. I have done few road trips with our beloved group RoadRollers in the past. We used to do weekend trips frequently. Those were the days when my motto was - "Whatever it is, its better in the wind".

I never thought things would change and I would be driving instead of riding. And now when I don't ride at all and I have sold all of my bikes I cant call myself a biker anymore.

It was only yesterday when I was browsing my old pictures and found an album from 2009. After going through all the pictures from the album an urge to write a travelogue came up. Fortunately I haven't forgotten every thing from that trip and can write few words. Out of many road trips on bike this one is very close to heart because this road trip was done on my father's Honda CD100SS, which was at that time almost 12 years old. I have written this travelogue in other forums ( back in 2009 but now I feel to write it once again in Team Bhp.

As far as I remember the road trip was planned 3 weeks back. I used own a Apache RTR then. I was new to the world of IT then and very curious about visiting new places. 2 of my friends showed interest in a weekend road trip to any nearby place. These 2 friends were also my colleague. So we could discuss about road trips the entire day.

The place decided was Henry Island. Henry island is a virgin sea beach which is around 180 kms from Kolkata. There is another beach Bakkhali which is just beside Henry island. Bakkhali was more famous at that time, hence very few people visited Henry Island.  From Wiki - "Henry Island is named after a European who surveyed land in the area in the late 19th Century. Dense mangrove forest parted by numerous canals covered the area then. There is no one to pry other than the red fiddler crabs dotting the shore. Lazing on the sprawling and deserted beach is very enjoyable. The Island is home to millions of red crabs". West Bengal govt has their cottages over there. There was no other private hotels, not even now. Back in 2009 to stay in one of the cottages of West Bengal State Fiesheries depart one had to go to Bikash Bhaban in Karunamoyee Saltlake. We booked 1 non AC room 3 weeks prior to the road trip.

2 weeks before the trip Bajaj launched the carb edition of Pulsar 220. I was so interested in that bike that I sold the Apache RTR instantly and booked the new Pulsar. However the showroom couldnt deliver the Pulsar before the roadtrip. So much of excitement that I forgot we have a road trip planned after 1 week.

The roadtrip was equally important and we didnt want to cancel it by any chance. The only option left was to take my father's old hero honda. My father gave permission without any question. There were consequences of riding a 12 years 100cc bike which wouldn't go faster than a moped. Also I was worried if could make it to Henry island and come back without any problem.

Anyways as I said, we didnt want to cancel the plan hence I brought my father bike and we started the roadtrip on a fine Saturday morning.

Route -

Day 1- I started from my hometown Tribeni, my other 2 friends started from Kolkata. One of them had a new Yamaha FZ. After 15 kms from Tribeni I realized I didnt bring the booking slips of the hotel, so I had to go back home to bring them. I met them at Kolkata and followed E.M.Bypass till Garia. Then after Baruipur took the Baruipur-Amtala road which lead us to the main Diamond Harbour road. Once we were on the Diamon Harbour road we road straight to Namkhana. We stopped in between only for butt breaks for 5-10 minutes twice. But as I was riding an old machine I had to maintain a speed of 60-65 km ph all the time. So it took almost 6 hours to cover 200 km.

At Namkhana there is a river which we had to cross. Usually there are large vessel to carry people and large vehicles. But we waned to do something different. There were small boats run by fisherman who also carries people and cycles. We took one of those boats -

The boat ride was interesting. The locals helped us to pull the bikes and put them on the boat. I remember we paid them Rs 20 each to cross the river.

After we crossed the river Henry island was only 25 kms away. The scenery after Namkhana changed drastically. We went there in Autumn hence the weather was too good with white clouds and blue sky. We stopped at a place for break and small photo shoot.

After Namkhana if you keep on going straight you will reach Bakkhali. To go to Henry island one has to take a left turn 4-5 kms before Bakkhali.

We reached Henry island just before lunch time. We checked in immediately and had our lunch. In lunch they served us fresh home grown fish. The food was outstanding. The surrounding areas of the cottages -

There is a tower house from where these photos were taken. Those water are fishing ponds owned by West bengal government.

One of my friends who is a sea/beach lover couldn't wait to visit the beach. As soon as we finished our lunch we headed towards the beach. So instead of taking rest after a 200km ride we were at the beach. It is a 5 minutes walk to the beach from the cottages. As I said Henry island was a virgin beach back then, we were the only 3 boys on the entire beach and no other humans. It felt like a new discovery. This was by far the best beach I have visited that time. The beach isn't long but it s beautiful. The blue sky made the water looked blue as well. We even rode our motor cycle on the beach.

We did spend 4-5 hours on the beach until the sun came down. Bakkhali is home to millions of red crab. And back in 2009 the beach was literally full of them. From distance a part of beach would look red, but once you get close the crabs would hide. We tried to photograph few crabs as well-

When the sun started settling down -

We came back to our cottage after sunset. Dead tired by then we took some rest. We called it a day after having another superb dinner.

Day 2- Day 2 was a Sunday and like any other road trip we had plans to return home. But before that  we thought of visiting some other places. Upon asking the locals they advised to go to Jambu island. Jambu island is a deserted small island on the estuary.

We hired a local boat to visit Jambu dweep. There is a small port where these boats are halted. These are mainly fishing boats hence smelled very very odd. The local fisherman uses these boats for their daily fishing, so you can imagine the smell. One of those fisherman agreed to take us to Jambu dweep and asked for Rs 500. It is almost an hour ride to the island. The waves went strong as we left the river and entered the estuary.

The boat stopped 10 feet before the beach of Jambu Dweep because the water was shallow. It was waist high water and we had to walk that 10 feet to reach the island. Hence we kept all our electronics in the boat. I dont have any picture of the island :(

We came back to our hotel and had our lunch. It was time to go back home. Any return journey isn't exciting, but the weather was good and so was the road, which made us excited enough to ride back home.

On the way it rained heavily, but we didnt stop. We rode an hour under heavy rain. That was us 7 years back when we would get drenched and would love that.

The Hero Honda CD100 SS performed exceptionally well the entire trip. It didnt give any problem at all and brought me back home safely. Well it took a lot of time than usual but the point is that bike saved our trip, otherwise we had to cancel. My father still have this bike at home.

I miss being a biker.


  1. Too Good...I relived the memories through your writings...Enjoyed a lot.
    Vai abar chol...

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