Oh, another exhausting day.
I woke up late – too late to visit Kalim’s college.
So I left Maheshkhali by ‘speedboat’ (old motorboats for approx. 12 passengers), towards Cox’s Bazar (that’s really the place’s name). I was probably ripped off with the price for that one. Everyone laughed when I was quoted additional 75 Taka for the bike – and everyone was in on it, too, so there was no haggeling and no finding out of the real price.
Also, I had to pay a ‘bicycle tax’ on arrival at Cox’s Bazar’s ghat. A what??? I wasn’t the only one to pay it, apparently, so that one seemed legit. But still, a bicycle tax? Really?
The countryside became slightly more hilly at times, but then again it was as flat as can be. There were fewer trees along the road. Also, temperatures are now seriously higher than expected (35+ vs. 25°C).
I caught myself day-dreaming of lush green and cool mountain forests, streams full of fresh and clean water jumping from stone to stone.
There is water here everywhere, but it doesn’t look exactly inviting.
I made two little detours off the main road – which saw amazingly little traffic, by the way. The first was to a crocodile farm. There wasn’t much to see except for a few bored crocodiles. They didn’t let me see the little ones, unfortunately, which is what I had hoped for.
The second detour was a short ride on the Bangladeshi-Myanmar-Friedship Road – to the Burmese border. It is amazing to be here. Burma – that sounds seriously exotic. There was no crossing there, though – I think there are no open land border crossings between Bangladesh and Myanmar/Burma at all. All I could do was have a short chat with two border guards and snap a picture of the fence.
Like I said, the day was very exhausting and I made it to a hotel a few kilometers north of Teknaf with my last energy. There is no mobile reception, no TV (they usually have two or three English-language Indian movie channels here) and electricity is flaky anyway, but according to my guide book “the restaurant outperforms the hotel”.