I woke up when the door to my room was opened, the light switched on and small space filled with a crowd of people. They were curious people from the surrounding village, keen to see this strange foreign guy. None spoke English so not a word was spoken as I blinked in the sudden onslaught of light and eyes and they stared at me and whispered behinds hands and veils. After a minute someone shouted at them to leave me alone and the room emptied. It was about 8.30am, so decided to get moving. By the time I’d had washed my face and toileted, breakfast was waiting. And so began a great day of adventure.

Last night, Sumon had me call his boss and explain I had come to visit him from Australia, so it would be great if my good friend could have the day off work. We went for a walk around the local village, then I joined Sumon and his friend Forid for a longer tour of town on Sumon’s motorbike. For lunch I was hosted by Forid’s family, who had prepared a delicious biryani with beef. After lunch we had a swim in the local river. Sumon had brought some soap so the swim also formed our bath for the day. The river was so strong we got washed downstream and had to walk back to our clothes.

I once again fell completely in love with village life. The village I got to see today was a little more densely packed than the village near Navarone, but still so attractive. My day has only served to make me want to come back one day and enjoy village life here. As the day began to end, I got to witness a spectacular sunset over water pools, which we explored on a wooden longboat. I met Sumon’s grandparents in the evening. His grandmother took to stroking me all over. As I left I received soft kisses all over my face and some words of prayer. Sumon explained that she was passing into me some of her own life force so that I could live a longer, happier life.

During a night-time visit to the local markets, Sumon and Forid surprised me with a gift of three bracelets. Back at home, Sumon’s mum served up a delicious dinner. All through the day I have had so many people coming from the surrounding area to see me. Once again I have been cared for in spectacular style. Bengali hospitality clearly has no end.

Day 565 (pic)

Sumon and Forid

Accommodation House of a friendly family
Distance ridden today 0km
Total distance ridden 14,598km