Bangladesh (at least that part of it I have seen) is a beautiful place to cycle through, if you stick to back roads as much as possible that is. The entire country is flat so you can enjoy what feels like a leisurely ride through picturesque countryside and tidy, welcoming villages. The weather is just about perfect at the moment: days are warm, the nights offer cool relief and the rainy season is over. The weather has been cooling down as I have ridden north and pretty soon even warm days may be a thing of the past.

Today I cruised along the main road to a town called Thakurgaon, from where I veered north-north-west to pass through Atwari on my way to Panchagarh. The stretch off the main road was particularly beautiful. I wished someone would invite me to stay in one of the villages I passed but it didn’t happen and I didn’t make any effort myself to make it happen. Nonetheless, I still got to appreciate it from the bike and it made for a nice last afternoon cycling in Bangladesh. I expect to cross the border into India tomorrow.

When I stopped for lunch at a little restaurant, I was served endless plates of food. I was hungry and knew it would be cheap, so I let them just keep on coming. The meal culminated in a dessert called doi, a frozen milk cup that was absolutely delicious. I knew the meal would be cheap, but I was shocked at how cheap, considering the volume of food I ate. All up I paid just 130t (AU$1.80).

Once in Panchagarh, I checked the price of a residential hotel (500t) then the price of a guesthouse. When the guesthouse told me they had rooms for 1,500t, I smiled at them, said don-loh-baht and started walking out. The manager followed me and said he’d give me the room for 1,000t. I smiled again, said thank you again, and explained the price was still too high. He dropped the price to 500t. I asked if I could see the room. It was much nicer than the one at the residential hotel. I said I’d stay if it was 400t. I waited while the manager sought approval for the price from someone else (he made a call), then was accepted. Score!

I looked at my money today and worked out that if I left tomorrow, I will only have spent AU$60 in the country over 12 days. That’s just AU$5 a day. Not bad at all!

Day 571 (pic)

Attention everywhere!

Accommodation $ Hotel
Distance ridden today 106.13km
Average cycling speed 17.7kph
Total distance ridden 14,976km