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  • Writer's pictureVoita

Bogura, d2

Today's trip was a challenge. When I planned it, Bogura and its goal seemed close enough. In rough outlines. When I looked at the map more closely yesterday, two things dawned on me: it's actually pretty far and there is no direct connection.

Bogura from hotel rooftop

two - way train

to board one

gotta be a bit bananas

There seemed to be train tracks following more or less the direction in which I had to head. And the train station was near, and there was a train leaving comfortably after breakfast at nine o'clock. Plus they give you an old school carton ticket for a literal penny.

submerged country

houses, fields,

CNGs (=local for TukTuk)

I thought that fifteen minutes delay on the train's arrival was pretty good time. I was wrong; it was excellent compared to the speed we adopted from there on. I think we set a new record for the world's most leisure ride as the 18 miles distance took us 150 minutes, over half of which we spent lounging in stations en route to allow the passengers sufficient refreshments time. It reminds me a little bit of Ryanair's financial model.

gardens by the monument

gardeners here have no electric tools (!)

lunch: chicken with rice* (*for locals only)

It was nearly midday and I was barely half-way, not even, and I needed to make a connection. Things were looking rather glum. Thankfully another self-proclaimed tour guide saw his chance for stardom and stated navigating me through a maze of CNGs. After the first shared ride, for which he had me pay double the standard fare for each of us, I explained to him that I'll be just fine.

"Great Monastery" from 8th century

920 feet a side

And I was. Until we nearly flipped a CNG on a muddy road. The ride's advantage is that you can pretty much hop on - hop off even at its top speed and feeling it toppling over into a pool of mud leaves little room for decisions. One of the other passengers clearly wasn't on his first ride as he hopped out and propped the vehicle like a colossus holding the earth. Which was good, since the rest of the crew were muslim women who, in their head to toe overalls, couldn't leap very far.

Total travel time - 4.5 hours for the 42 miles.

trap

monk cells

main temple (the ground used to be lot lower)

Sompur Mahavihara, western price: 17 locals

A ruin of a Buddhist monastery from the middle ages, before Bangladesh switched religions to Brahmanism and burned it to the ground. Repeatedly, to drive the lesson in. Buddhists took it to the heart and Bangladesh remains a uniform, Muslim country.

It was a nice walk, after I ditched another self-appointed tour guide. It kinda sorta looks like what I saw yesterday, except much bigger.

'on the honk' - rider's left seat, right above his clacson

The ride back wasn't anything to write home about, except for succeeding in chaining half a dozen CNGs with a bus as the cherry on the top. Once you get the pattern, it's almost easy. Find the next crossroads on the map, get there and repeat.

Total travel time (same route) - 3.5 hours.


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