Bandarban: Expedition Rumana, Day-4

Thursday, 16th September 2010

Continuation from Day-3 expedition.

We have been trekking and moving forward relentlessly for "this day". Our main objective was to enjoy the beauty of the great Zingsiam Saitar waterfall from Rumana Para. Soon you'll learn how we passed the most exciting day from our expedition.

Once again, like any other days, our morning started very early. May be around 5:30. From the very beginning of the day, it started to become so funny. We had only one toilet, and the architecture of the toilet was/is a genius. Man what an idea.

There is only single toilet around, and we are lots of expediters. Many of us have started their day earlier then us, and rest of us were waiting at queue. When one of us finished the task, he just praised and hailed to the architecture of this toilet. Waiting for my serial to discover what it is actually...

This toilet is nothing but a flat floor inside, and a rectangular hole at the middle. When you poop, everything will drop through that hole, and just bottom of the toilet(4/5 feet downwards) a group of pigs(local people used to call these as "black deer") are waiting for your output(they will consider those as their input). It takes time to get dropped the stool at the bottom, but they take almost no time to consume those. Its funny, but trust me, those pigs are keeping the place away from dirt. You don't need to hire any extra man to clean the shit tank.

Anyway, once again, no breakfast today, only tea and biscuits. And I don't take tea. Initially 4/5 of us showed some interested to take rest, and didn't want to join us today. But later on, only two of us waited at "Rumana Para", and along with them our "Jony Boy" a tribal helping hand, and "John" a lazy tribal boy joined them. Partho was having a problem with his feet and Ruhi was having problem with his boots. Later I came to know, Ruhi invested around 4+ hours to repair his boots. Man, situation can turn a man into anything :-)

Since we will return back to the "Rumana Para" at the end of the day, most of us didn't take any backpack with them. No extra pain at the back, lovely. 11/12 of us started towards the Zingsiam Saitar waterfall. Today's trek was not a traditional one like last few days. This one is too much narrow, very slippy due to last night mild rain, and too much steeped at downwards, more adventurous. Many of us got slipped today, some of them multiple times. I have got few jerked, but didn't felt down. This is such an unknown trek that most of the villagers from around even don't use this one. Only few hunters sometimes used to pass by.

After around half an hour, we have found "Ruma Khal"(Ruma Canal) on our way. Some of us reached there and waiting for us, sitting over the stones over the Canal. But trust me, every single large bolder of stones were blessed with leeches. We didn't even notice that, but when people started to discover the presence of leeches over their body, the situation became funny :-)

Actually we were waiting here for our team captain, he was at the last of the trail. Lets consider a 500 meter rope. When we were trekking, our trail was long something like that rope. If the first member is at the front of the rope, then last member(usually our captain, Mainul) was at the tail. He was making sure that no one is left behind. Since captain was at last, we were waiting for him, and to guide us. Cause the trek goes more further after crossing the canal, and also we can go either side of the canal. Confusing...

Now, if we take the path through the canal, at right side(towards the canal is flowing), it will take us to the first step of the Zingsiam Saitar waterfall after around 20 minutes. But if we want to reach at the bottom, we had to stay with the current trek. People decided to explore from third(bottom) step of the waterfall, and we have started to move further. We will come back here again.

This time the treks are even narrower, and sometimes there are few marks of land slides. We had to pass through these. Every single steps we were moving further, the count of leeches and sized of leeches were increased magically. I don't know how much time passed, but we have reached at a place where two Jihri(streams) joined together, and created a new one. Its looking like 'Y'. One of the stream is probably named "Dolovia"(not sure, and other one is I forgot, you can inquiry at for more. They know about this).

Once again waited here for right direction. It is possible to take any of the branch of that Y. But later Mainul confirmed to take the right side one(the bottom of Y, and after joining two stream, its flowing at that direction), and it joined with Rumakhal later. Last few hours we were walking though the paths, but this time we have to move over the Jhiri Path, means wetting time. I have used the water instead of bank of the Jhiri most of the times. It was keeping my feet kool. I have got several blisters on my feet.

There are lots of small waterfall through out this Jhiri. It was wonderful once again, walking over the clean crystal jhiri water, murmuring sounds from water and leaves, birds are singing in different tones. Most interesting part is the hide and seek of the sun. Sometimes the forest is so thick, that its hard to see the sun, and you'll feel its almost end of the day. But when you'll discover yourself at the middle of an empty place, you'll find how bright the day is and how much scorching its for your skin.

Finally we have reached at another point, and this time this Jhiri is joined together with another one(coming from right, and this is our great "Ruma Khal" once again). After joining both of these, it kept it's named as Ruma Khal, and which became more mightier.

This time we will not follow the flow of the water. We have to go towards the opposite of the flow of the "Ruma Khal", means chose the right side one. And from here, its not too much far(only 3/4 minutes) to get the view of the third step of the Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. We have been walking and walking, we were tired, but it dissipated when we got the sweet sound from the waterfall. I don't know how everybody feels about this, but this sound used to make me mad.

This waterfall is huge, and have multiple streams. Right now the amount of water flow is medium, but during full rainy season, its become massive. Some of us were taking rest in front of the waterfall(There was a large log of a tree, and we were sitting over that). Already few of us started to take shower at the waterfall. I have taken some time to explore the beauty and the proximity area, and later on joined with them. My god, too much cold, and some of us feeling this too much for them and quit instantly.

Now, time to leave this place, and move for next step. But some of us(specially Hasnat and Hassan) wanted to reach at the top of this step. And Mainul, the team captain informed that there is no path available to go there(later he confirmed that he lied). If you wish to go there, you have to climb through the rock(through waterfall itself, 90 degree slope), or you have to make a path through the dense forest(an average of 70 degree steep or slope).

I am not a brave man. So I didn't express any opinion, waiting for others, and I'll decided with the majority. Initially 5 of us showed interest about to make a path through the thick forest, and they have already started to moving towards. Not bothering to hear from us. Later one by one joined with them, and so did I. Finally the two of us who were not interested about this(wanted to return back to base), they have also joined with us, and we were happy cause no one is missing the showtime.

Since I started a bit late, it was a problem for me to find the right trail. I only can hear my teammates who are at top, but hardly possible to see any sign of them. Using the marks of chopping(branches, herbs, etc) I was moving towards along with my rest of the teammates.

This is hard to clean the forest and move forward. So finally we have caught them. Now for every five minutes we were only able to move 5-10 feet. If I see at top, I only can see the posterior of him, and If i see at bottom, I only can see the head of him. Everyone of us waiting at their position, some of us holding or hanging by griping the tree, some of us leaned their body over the rock to make a perfect balance. You can only move if and only if your front person makes a move. Cause you have to take his place for a perfect shelter. In between you and him, there is no perfect place to hang up. Its hard to make you understand you the situation by writing here. You can watch that from the attached video.

I want to let "Tushar" a thanks. Its only God knows how much leeches he have plucked from my pants and from my body. He was always at the behind of me, my legs were near his hands, and every times he finds any leech, just plucked that away. He is such a cool company that you would love to have him with your every expeditions.

During the chopping, we have moved towards the wrong direction once. We had to use rope to climb over the rocks. We found small band of rocks were collapsed from top due to footmarks of our teammates, and those rocks just passed over us. I have been hit by those several times, so did my fellow mates from me.

While moving further, I found a natural rope from the older trees, and grabbed that to get some balance. But unfortunately, this was with a dead branch of a tree, and that log sized branch just felt over me. It was around 4-5 feet long, and I don't know how I survived. I didn't even feel any pain, but my mates thought I would felt down to ground within a second. Thanks to all mighty that my luck favored with me. Otherwise that shit can split my head easily into two.

Finally around one to two ours of hard working, we have reached at the top of the third step of the waterfall. We have discovered that our boots were covered with mud, got cut over the skin at several places, bees and mountain ants bitten us mercilessly. We have taken some rest there, and Mainul expressed thank to everyone to completing the hard work. He just showed us a path and said, you can easily used this one to come here with in few minutes. But that case you had to miss this adventure. Everyone of us just laughed, and thanked him for not showing the easiest one :-)

From the top of the third step. Its only few minutes of walking through "Ruma Khal" to reach at the second step of Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. From Mainul, we came to know that, the "Zingsiam" was name of a Bawm(a tribe name) girl, and she went for fishing at the Top step(first) of the waterfall. She felt from there, and her dead body was found at the bottom of the second step of the waterfall, after two days of her missing. From then the waterfall is known as Zingsiam Saitar Waterfall. Saitar means waterfall in Bawm Language.

When we have reached the bottom of the second step, found two tribal guys were fishing at the top of the waterfall. Once again shower time, but this time few of us didn't joined at shower. We have some dry food with us, and we have enjoyed those. Everyone were hungry. Its marvelous to enjoy the remote beauty, and have some food. Your eyes and tummy, both got satisfied.

From here we have return back to the top of the Third step once again, and planed to go to the top of the first step of the waterfall. This time the trek was besides the Zum field. and this one is much easier for walk. But we were tired, and the sun was burning, no sheds from the trees, and its continuously moving upwards. I don't know but this time I felt most tired from my whole expedition. I bet this was similar to my other fellows.

At one point, when we were almost near to our base, an opportunity was given to everyone. If anyone is interested, can return back to the base, four from us accepted the offer, and returned back. Rest of us moved forward to the top of the first step of the waterfall. Today morning, we have used this trail, now we are using this one again. We have to reach the place where we have taken our rest and discovered leeches at morning.

Unfortunately, Hasnat, one of the strongest team member felt into water after his feet stuck with a root of a tree. His camera was drenched, and luckily it was turned off. We have suggested him not to switch on until it get dry enough. He felt nervous, and I could easily read what was going inside him.

We have reached at the top of the first step. Our tribal girl actually felt from this step. We had a plan to go to the bottom of this step, and then move at the top of the second step. Due to the tiredness, and the situation of Hasnat didn't encourage us to continue our expedition further. So we have started to return back to the base after concluding our today's expedition.

When we have reached at the base, it was almost afternoon. The mates who were stated at the base, have prepared food for us, and with a hurry we have changed our dresses, and started to take meal for the first time of the day. After the meal we have gathered at the outside yard to share our today's experience. By this time when the sun was about to go down, we have enjoyed how it was going behind the mighty Keokaradong Mountain. From that yard, you can easily see the mountain.

During night, Hasnat tried to open his camera, but couldn't able to On that. Also by this time he has caught a fever, and along with him we went for a early sleep at night. What a day it was. Every single member from the team can remember this day with their grand kids when they will be at a stage like today's drowning sun.

Click here to read Day-5