I had a late start but finally, finally! left Agartala and went back to Bangladesh. Not that Agartala or India were a bad experience in any way. But staying in the same place for so long, just waiting for some future date, without any intermediate plans, is not good for me.
I had been out of Agartala on short day trips to the surrounding countryside a couple of times. At one occasion I bought a heavy chopping knife, almost a machete. Officially, import of any kind of knives to Bangladesh is forbidden. I was also carrying a smaller sickle-like knife with me which I had bought directly from a blacksmith at his road-side forge between Natore and Bogra a few weeks ago. I did not, by the way, buy them because I feel unsafe on the road. They are souvenirs and ‘hidden’ at the very bottom of my bike’s frame bag.
As usual, nobody cared about my luggage at the border, neither on the Indian nor on the Bangladeshi side. The Indian border guard, before letting me pass, with a stern look made a phone call and, from the little bits I understood, he seemed to ask for confirmation that I was indeed allowed to cross the border on my bicycle.
Once in Bangladesh, I felt ‘at home’ instantly. People seemed even more friendly than in India, and certainly way more curious towards the lone western cyclist.
The following ride was slow and short. Me, having left late in the day once more, only made it to Brahmanbaria, less than 30km from the border.
Brahmanbaria, like every other Bangladeshi town, is buzzing and as everywhere in Bangladesh, people are friendly and tried to help me find a hotel. For some reason it was much more difficult today and I cycled around the town centre for quite a while before recognizing the hotel for what it was (having cycled past it at least twice). And then I was ripped off majorly (that’s where people’s friendliness ends ;). (That’s not correct – I was ripped off majorly with a friendly smile.)