Bandarban for the Second Time

This time I became sure that mountains are beautiful during the rainy season. Everything seems clean and fresh that time though leaches could suck your blood.

Its winter and the weather is dry and rough. We went through the same foot prints those we drew on last May [read the previous story]. But this time we were in a small group with less team spirit and glamour.

I had to fight a lot to manage the time. I keep recalling my memories all through the way. We reached the peak of Boga Lake by the evening of 29 December. We were prepared to face a hard cold but the weather was much warmer than the city.

The home where we lived this time was a cool place than last time. It was very comfortable in every way. On 30 December some of our friend went to the peak of Keokradong. We were out of all networks and that was the biggest relaxation. No regular schedule, no hurry, no boss, no computer, no mobile. Drinking water from the lake, having tasteless same food in breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great eagerness; trying to enjoy every single moment.

On 31, the sun set with great sorrow from sky of Boga Lake area. A deadly road accident happened on the hilly way to Boga Lake, took a death toll of 4 persons.

At the earlier night someone brought a dead Cobra. He said it attacked him on the way so that he smashed the head. It brought lot of excitement to the tribal and as well as the tourists. They cooked the cobra and many of our friends took it with a great excitement.

We set a fire and roasted a goat. On the first moment of New Year everyone start dancing. The night grew older and moon started shining from behind the big mountains. That was the nicest part of the whole tour.

Next morning we got up with a spirit to walk 17 kilometer way back. I walked the same way last time but this time it was too hard. The sun was burning all the time. Once it happened that we finished the last drop of water and had to walk another hour to find a water source.

All tiredness came zero when I took a long bath in the river Sangu. I am considering it as the biggest achievement of the whole tour. Ruma bazaar is too known to us and we spend few useless hours there. Some of us wanted to get back earlier to Banadarban. But most of us liked to stay motionless.

On 2nd day January, we start our journey back to Dhaka. There was a huge traffic jam on the way. Overall it was a great time… but not so great as it was before.

Ok, I’ve learnt few things,

  • He is a foolish who pretends to be a good, sober person all the time.
  • Out of sight out mind isn’t always true. Sometime you should go far to measure the depth of your sight.

Keokradong, the Second Highest Peak of Bangaldesh

This story was originally published in TraveloBlog before I started this blog. Some revisions are done while importing the story here.

It should not be a tough job to reach such a higher point. But it’s rainy season now and that made the situation bit harder. We were a group of 21; 19 boys, 2 girls. 2/3 of us are going there for the second time. They are our primary guides.

We started for Bandarban by a S Alam bus on the night of 10 May. The journey was wonderful. We reached Bandarban by the very first morning of 11 May. Many of us were seeing mountains for the first time. But it was exciting for everyone.

After a break we started again for Ruma Bazar by a Chander Gari. It was supposed to be a 48 kilometer journey on mountain track following the rive Sangu. But our transport got collapsed at some point and we had to hire a boat.

So it was another 2 hours journey by boat. We were roasted by sun and later hydrate by the rain. But still this was the most exciting part.

Ruma Bazar is a very small town (its like a village market, but it has a town status). You might not get running water in bathroom or electricity in your room but it’s very cheap – something like $0.8 per person!

There is an army camp there and you have to inform them all about you – where are you from, why you are here, how long you will stay and where you will go from here etc. But they are really helpful. They will tell you something that is really very important to travel this place.

Our next destination was Boga Lake, a nearby village to Keokradong. We hired another Chander Gari to travel next 18 kilometer. But the weather didn’t support us. Suddenly it started raining and the road became to slippery for the jeep. Before 3 kilometer of Boga Lake the jeep got stuck in the mud and we had no other option but walk rest 3 kilometer with our belongings.

First it seemed quite impossible. But we had no other choice. We started singing, sometime dancing. First one hour was exciting. It was painless, just fun. But when we start climbing a big mountain it became quite impossible to hold the breath. it seemed endless. The higher we were climbing the peak also growing higher.

Well, we didn’t realize what the excitement was waiting on the other side of the peak. There is another army camp on the top of the hill. Besides it there is a huge lake with clear water! It’s really astonishing! How it happened? All of our tiredness suddenly came to zero just to see the lake.

We had to report to the army camp. They gave us some very essential guidelines like wearing full shirt, full pant and use mosquito protection cream. Because this area is a danger zone for Malaria. They also asked us to be careful about the leech.

There are 8-10 families live in Boga Lake area. We rented one of their home. It was a nice place. No electricity, no urban facility. The only drinkable water was the lake’s water.

The next day was the day to start for Keokradong. We were excited. Our guide was from a tribal community called Bawm. He gave us a brief speech about the way of Keokradong. It was a very sunny day. So we took lot of saline water.

We’ve found two water streams on the way to keokradong. Everything was really amazing. We had to walk almost 14 kilometer to reach the highest peak. There was a tiny village called Darjeeling Para just before the highest peak.

It started raining when we started from Darjeeling Para. The muddy way became very slippery and we had to walk very carefully. It took bit longer time than usual but we reached peak it at last. We started singing our national anthem when we were climbing the last steps of the highest peak. It was an extraordinary feeling that I’ve never felt before.

Still it was raining but we could see some other lower peaks where it was sunny at the same time. The rain traveled to another place some minutes later. We started taking photos. It’s going to be our one of the most favorite memories, so we took as much pictures possible.

We walked almost 4.5 hours and we stayed on the peak for more than half an hour. We didn’t want to come back but we had to. I thought it’d be easier to walk down track. But soon I realized how hard it could be. The way was too slippery and after one hour we could realize that we are losing controls of our feet.

It’d be quite impossible if someone want to walk all this way alone. There is a big chance that you may give up at some point. But we were in a group and we’ve tried to help each other all the time. So it became easier and certainly made us thankful to each other.

It was raining all through the night and the morning. It was our day to get back. Our guide told us that the jeep that stacked on the way of our coming is still staying on the same place. So we started again with the hope that may be we could travel next 15 kilometer by that jeep. but another one group reached the jeep before we do. they were a group of 8. so there was place for only another 10-12 person. so 10 of us decided to walk and another 11 went by the jeep. i was one of 10 walker. it was really amazing. the mountain has bunch of beauties. i didn’t see ocean but i think mountains are more resourceful. nothing seemed impossible when we reached ruma bazar by walking. i start believing i could travel all around the globe just on my feet. we stayed ruma bazar next 2 hours. then again started for bandarban. we were heading to catch the bus of 8:00 pm to dhaka. we took another journey by boat, then a chander gari. it was raining hardly and 7 of us were traveling on the roof of the jeep. it was very risky but exciting too. we made it at last. we reached bandarban by 7:00 pm and some of us got few minutes for shopping. next morning when we reached dhaka, it seemed we just awakened from a dream with full strength in our body and soul to travel any tough place around the world.