Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-1

Monday, 13th September 2010

Dhaka to Bandarban

Last night around 11:30, a band of 12 adventurous people(other two joined from Chittagong and Bandarban town, total 14), including me, leaved Dhaka by Dolphin bus service for Bandarban. We'll do lots of trekking and exploring at remote areas from Bandarban Hill Tracks. All of the members from the team were unknown to me until yesterday, not now. This expedition was arranged by "Dway Expeditors". It will be a 6 days of trekking, and our final destination is "Rumana Para". Keokaradong will be on our path at forth coming days.

Today is day one. We have reached at Bandarban town by around 6:30. Its too early to reach the town. Our next destination is "Koikkhong Jhiri", the first bus for that place will start at around 9. So from the bus stand we have started a short walk(a warm up too) for the "Chander Gari" bus stand. Its only 10 minutes of walking distance.

Bandarban To Ruma Bazar

Since this is just after Eid, here we have found numerous number of tourists, and most of them are eagerly waiting for Bogalake. We have entered inside a small shop for breakfast. Still around 1.5 hours left to start the first bus or "chander gari". Some of the tourist paid highly to the land cruiser drivers for the lift. They were not interested to waste a second here.

But we had no options. We have bought 14 tickets, each of costing 70 taka. Get inside the bus, though its plenty of time left before starting. Also other tourists are getting inside. Since the bus is fully loaded, people started chaos, they want the bus to start early. Finally we won. It started at 8:30. Small bus, and very congested, it was hard for me to sit inside. I was wondering how could I pass 2.5 hours here.

I have traveled through this road before. Wonderful, but today, it was a bit risky. A mild rain just occurred at last night, lots of places from the road are damaged a bit. When the bus was crossing over a muddy road, it was giving a feel that it will felt down from road. The wheels of the bus stuck over mud several times. Lots of people was at the top of the bus, and they were scared as well as me. Once or twice the bus swerved dangerously.

Around 11:30 we have reached at the "Koikkhon Jhiri" bazar. Now we have to ride engine boat to reach at Ruma Bazar. Once again, plenty of people are waiting at the doc of river Shangu. When the first boat reached here from Ruma, we couldn't get inside due to heavy rush from people. So, we waited for next one, and it will come around 1 hour later. By this time we had some "Shingara" and "Peyaji".

Bank of river Shangu

When the next boat arrived, people ride on board, and all of them were standing at queue, so that first came people served first. Morning was a bit gloomy, but now its terribly bright and hot. I was at the top of the board. Enjoying the beauty of nature and the heat from sun. Around 2:00 the boat reached at Ruma Bazar.

Most of the team members were hungry. So entered a restaurant for lunch. I had some prawn curry and others had chicken. It wasn't tasty, but we have to do lots of hard work in front, so no choice. I was wearing Jeans, and changed my dresses. I had a track suit inside my back, and put on that for more comfort during walk.

Ruma bazar to Boga Mukh Para

Ruma Canal(Ruma Khal)

Around 4:00 we have started for "Boga Mukh Para", where we'll stay for our night. We were using the "Jhiri Path" for our trekking. Initially we had to cross the "Ruma Khal" several times, cause the road meandered through the Ruma canal. Since last night had a mild rain, the water level from the canal is a bit high today. 2-2.5 ft on average.

Our team crossing the Ruma khal, We did this several times today

When we were at half way for Boga mukh para, the sun gone down. Some of us were using torch, but I was reluctant to use that. I wanted to adjust my eyes with the darkness. Around 8:00, we have reached at Boga Mukh para. There are two villages at here, one is "Marma Para" and another is "Tripura Para", not sure which one is this. May be its a "Bawm Para".

Dumped my bags inside the house, put off my boots to relief my feet, and removed my dresses, and put on a "gamchha", and jumped inside the "Ruma khal" for a night time shower. I have removed my last cloth from my body, and enjoyed a shower with a naked body under the darkness. It was amazing.

View of ruma khal from the house, where we stayed our night

At night, few of us prepared "khichuri" for dinner, with Eggs. After dinner, its time to sleep. The house is actually a tea stall. So its hard to sleep for too many people. I had managed myself to sleep at 1 ft wide space, and used my bag as pillow. Just beside the house, Ruma Khal is flowing, the whole night it was making sweet sound, like a waterfall. I was in heaven though was having problem for sleep.

Next one will be available at "Part-2".


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