28.03.2014 - 31.03.2014
It felt a bit odd to be back in the chaos that was Dhaka and it took us a while to orientate ourselves, not helped by the fact we chose to stay in a different hotel than before. The staff at the Hotel Pacific were great and the food was delicious, Jane couldn't get enough of the bitter gourd. Unfortunately I succumbed to travelers belly on the first night and so that knocked out much of the second day. Luckily we had changed our plans a bit and had got here a couple of days early so could easily afford the downtime. Feeling human again on the third day we wandered through the streets of Dhaka to the Liberation Museum to learn more about the harrowing birth of the Bangladesh nation.
That evening we set off on a part of the whole trip I had been very much looking forward to... The Rocket Steamer! We waited on the Sadurghat ferry port being entertained (and stared at again) by the locals until the Steamer pulled into the dock. The ship looked every bit of its 85 years! We climbed aboard and were led to our cabin through a rather grand dining area. The cabin, although compact was incredible - all clad in wooden panels, you could really get a sense of the history of the ship. We passed the first few hours aboard looking around the ship and exchanging photos and more stares with people on other ships docked at the ferry port. We met an unforgettable girl called Mirakat and her brother whose family were in the cabin next to ours. It wasn't long before we were fully welcomed into the family fold and for the rest of the journey we were referred to as auntie and uncle'. I'm going to miss those two. Dinner was served in the grand dining area and we were joined by one of the stewards who told us of his time on a similar steamer with Michael Palin as a guest! The steamer paddled along at a leisurely pace passing the odd brick factory or fishing village on route to Hulerhat. It took most of the following morning to convince Mirakat that we couldn't disembark at her stop and visit her home. We took lots of photos with her and her brother instead and were quickly joined by other families all wanting their picture taken with us. It made a lovely end to a memorable boat ride.