Cruisin’

A pretty relaxing day, partly as there’s not a lot to do on a boat that’s ambling down a river. We slept quite late, being woken by the waiter knocking at our door around 10:00. Then we slept for another hour. Best night’s sleep in a couple of weeks, I think.

Breakfast was omelette and toast with some fish and chips on the side and a rather delicious cup of tea. Hans milled around the ship a little while I bulldozed through another Jack Reacher novel.

A small girl kept popping her head into our room and nattering away in passable English. At one point, she’d just seen a plane in the sky outside (a big one, I confirmed). Cute as the proverbial. It turns out she was a stowaway, having followed us onboard at Dhaka! The staff said they’d feed her and take her back up on the return trip. I think it’s fairly commonplace. Maybe she’ll grow up with the same urge to travel and a budget to go further – or the cheek to manage it on the sly!

There was also another white man on board. Our first non-Bangladeshi in Bangladesh! He was a Swedish man who’d just headed down from a trek in the hills with his guide who, it turned out, knew the chap we were to meet when we arrived at our destination.

Lunch was the same food as we’d had for dinner the night before and we sat and read, took photos and snoozed until around 7pm when we docked at Mongla.

In the near-darkness, we disembarked and sat on the back of a cycle-drawn cart while a young boy pedalled like bonkers to get us over the rough ground. I’d not like to come up against him in a kicking contest. he may have been small, but I reckon he could beat a mule into second place.

After a short ride, we stepped onto a boat to be taken across the river to the Hotel Pashur where we would be staying the night. It’s by far the poshest place in the area and still ludicrously cheap by western standards. OK, it’s still also rough and ready by western standards but it has comfy beds and a hot shower. What else do you need?

We ordered dinner and in the half hour wait for it to be served walked out of the main gates to walk around. There’s very little on this side of the river, so we settled on having a cup of tea (2Tk) and bought some biscuits and water for later on.

Dinner was pretty good – Hans going for enough rice and dall to feed three people (he almost finished it) while I listened to my recovering tummy and went for chicken schnitzel and chips. Pricewise, it’s fairly expensive for Bangladesh but that’s what happens when you eat in hotel restaurants.

With not a whole lot else to do, we made full use of the lovely hot shower and then sat and read for a bit before bed. Definitely a chilled-out day or so.

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