I have had the most amazing time learning about the life of my hosts and their local community. It is hard to keep track of how everyone is related, as the name brother and sister are also used for cousins, but it seems everyone who lives in the vicinity of where I slept are all extended family. I spent most of the day (until around 4pm) hanging out and seeing more of village life. It is the most idyllic lifestyle I have seen and I wish I had it. Although they see themselves as poor farmers, from my perspective they have a perfect life. They grow all their own food and there is no wastage, so it is all environmentally friendly. For example, the rice stalks are fed to the cows. The cows shit is used as fuel for cooking fires. The fires cook the rice. Circle of life. It was an amazing time. Lunch was cooked for everyone in a massive cauldron on an outside fire and everyone ate together. It was the best meal I have had in a long time. In the afternoon I joined some guys who were fishing some nearby lakes using worms as bait. The lakes were covered in waterlilies and I learned that you can eat the ‘fruit’ of the lily. I really wished I could keep staying there for many more days…maybe even forever. I have never felt such kindness and generosity before. I was welcomed into their lives as if I was one of them. I welled up with tears and became emotional as I left. It is the first time I have cried during a goodbye.

Day 562 (pic1)

Imran and friends

Back on the main road I had a final tea with Shazan. Then I really had to get my shakes on. The sun was nearly down and Jessore was 25km away. I had to ride fast and ignore the shouts of people who wanted me to pull over so I can be ‘inspected’. I made it to a hotel just on dark. I had a quick shower, then headed out for a walk. It would be impossible to go for a walk in Bangladesh and not make friends. Everyone is so warm and welcoming and curious. After filling up on street food, I hung out with a bunch of youngish guys in a little hardware shop (where one of the guys works) for a while, before calling it a night and returning home.

Day 562 (pic2)

Portrait of some incredibly generous people

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 25.72km
Average cycling speed 17.4kph
Total distance ridden 14,463km