Inside Bandarban – II
SAILORS TRAVELING HIGH
This is the continuation of my previous post named Inside Bandarban -I. So let’s start from the morning of 20th February,2012 from Boga lake. It was about 7 at morning at Boga lake. Last night was great but the sleep wasn’t that good. It was because some of the stupid tourists (the word may be offensive but I don’t have any other better words for them in my dictionary) who were a group of students from Dhaka. The whole night they drank vodka beside our hut and continuously vomitted around till morning, they were shouting, singing so loud that I thought may be that dead python would be alive again. And at one point two of them shitted some place near the hut. It was very disturbing and it pissed off our sleep. It was just before dusk that we could sleep. The main point of bringing up this topic is that due to this disturbing activities by us human we are destroying the nature and also destroying the mood of the environment there. It is a a matter of civic sense that one should enjoy being in limit and keeping in mind that theyare not disturbing others. There were one or two families around from Dhaka and I’m sure the abusive words they used wasn’t pleasant for them. We should understand that the main reason of traveling to mountains or wilderness is to get the calm, isolating taste of nature. We don’t travel from one end of the country to the other to watch and hear some jerks getting high and shouting abusive words. We should maintain the originality of the place we travel to and show respect to the locality we travel to and enjoy the nature and let others enjoy it.
I will leave the heavy words now, lets get back to the point. The breakfast was good, rice with egg omelet and pulse. It was required because the whole day we won’t get rice, we have to depend on dry foods. So after breakfast and paying our rents and dues we set out on the path for Keokradong at 8
On the way to Keokradong from Boga lake
The front part of chingri jharna (Prawn waterfalls). The main fall is behind this boulders but in winter its almost dead. The best time to come for waterfall is in rainy season just after the monsoon ends. These fall is about 45 mins from the Boga lake just beside the trail to Keokradong. Its a nice resting place with cool water available and shades of trees.
The mountain trail to Keokradong is not that tough. There are some step roads which are a bit tiring to trek on. The trail is mainly a road for 4wd trucks so the trail is wide enough, except some trails most of it is easy.
Some trail were difficult to trek.
There was a certain trail the second last mountain we have climb before Keokradong was a bit tiring. The road was totally step about 60 degrees may be and continuously it was going up and up. We climbed the mountain very slowly so that we don’t get exhausted. Near the top of the mountain there was a shed for trekkers to rest and from there we saw the highest peak of the country, Keokradong. Trekking in step conditions, I have learned some tit bits about climbing up. Below is a list of realization I found in such conditions useful
1) Walk slowly and try taking small steps. No need to take long steps it will tire you out unless you are in a competition.
2) Try not to take too much rests until climbing period ends. Take rest but for very short time like after 15 mins of climbing take 2-5 mins of rest. If you take long rest laziness will get you.
3) During resting just stand under a tree shed for resting and try not sit or lie down rest and try not to take out your bag pack off the shoulder. I found it rather uncomfortable to take off back pack during short rests as the setup of my shoulder and backpack had to be re-established which is a bit uncomfortable.
4) Keep the bag pack as high up your shoulder as you can. If you lower your bag pack too much the gravity will pull you down.
5) Keeping lozenges in mouth felt good to me. I found some gooseberries from a tribal Didi and I used those.
6) Take a bamboo and don’t put all your weight on whole body, take support on the bamboo during climbing so as to give some load on the stick. And keeping my hip straight also helped me climbing up.
7) When I was in the academy as a cadet during cross- countries, daily mile tests or during sprinting we were taught to keep our mouth shut during running and breathe in and out by nose only. I employed it again during trekking in Bandarban and it was useful. Breathing in and out by mouth makes the mouth dry and make you feel thirsty very frequently. So better keep your mouth shut.
The above list is my point of view and founding one may not fully agree with all my points. But I certainly found the above points helpful during the tour.
Keokradong peak from a nearby mountain
Before coming here I have heard about Darjeeling para a lot of time. Finally I have come here. It was just before Keokradong peak about may be half an hour walk to the peak. This village is a Bawm tribal village. These people where converted Christians. Bawms are the most educated and developed of all the tribes of Bandarban. We took tea and biscuits there before heading out for Keokradong.
We met this lovely mother and her two child just before Keokradong. They were taking rest on the road side. The children were so beautiful that I couldn’t resist myself taking their photograph. We gave them chocolates and biscuits to these two children and they looked so happy as though they are ruler of the world. Later we found out that they live in Jade Para, a small village beyond Keokradong. And the first hut on the entrance of the village from Keokradong is theirs.
And finally we reached Keokradong at about 11 am. At last we were at the top of Bangladesh, the cold wind blowing also blew our tiredness within minutes. To me it’s more than conquering the highest peak rather it’s a tribute to the nature itself . The beautiful creation of nature makes us bow to it and say “Bow to thy nature”. Keokradong is the official highest peak of Bangladesh with height of 1230m or 4035 feet. After some sight seeing and rest we went out for Jadepai jhorna at about 12:30 pm. We kept our bag on the hut we booked over Keokradong and took our lunch on the highest village of Bangladesh, Passing Para. Lunch was asusual biscuit with water and tea.
Mountain range from the Keokradong peak on the way to Jadepai Jhorna
The highest village of Bangladesh- Passing Para.
The road to Jadepai is horrendous I must say. After the Jadefai para the road goes down steeply continuous till the bottom where the waterfall is. The road was jagged and continuous going down ached my kneecaps. I found it better to climb up than going down. The last 30 mins of the trek is really exciting. At this part of the trekking the trail goes down to the bottom of a ragged stony hill. The trail is very exciting and sometime became dangerous as the trail continues through the vegetation of the hill. One of my friend was a bit bulky so we were a bit tensed about him. But all went well. But once you see the waterfall you will forget everything. As I descended the ragged hill I was feeling tired and I was just watching at the trail only when one of my friend distracted me and told me to look forward. I looked forward and I felt dizzy, I saw a a tall wall of rock on the mountain with herbs in it and water was falling from it . The view was so extravagant that I was carried away and forget all my tiredness. But unfortunately winter wasn’t a great time for waterfalls as there were very less water in it. But whatever it was the waterfall is worth hardship.
The road to Jadepai.
Jadefai jhorna. I didn’t have a wide lens so couldn’t take the picture of the whole fall in one shot.
After digesting the beauty of the beast we bathed in the water of the Jadefai. It was terribly cold, we just wet ourself very quickly and got out of the water. The waterfall was amazing but one we were a bit unsatisfied as there was very small water so the real taste was not their. So we are planning an waterfall expedition in the upcoming rainy season and hope to be in jadefai again.
We got back to Keokradong again by evening. Daylight was still there and we watched the sunset over the mountains. The calmness isolation was extreme. Everything was quite here and we were really enjoying the scene. After sunset a very chilly wind started to blow and we get back to our hut.
The hut over Keokradong.
We took our dinner very early at about 7 pm as were dam hungry. Dinner was with rice, goat meat and pulses. We ate a lot that night and at half way our dinner we were joined by a Bawm man who was a doctor in Bandarban city and he was accompanied by 3 chakmas from Rangamati. They were a bit drunk that night and was talking non stop. They brought local Chakma fermented beverage with them named “Dochini”. They insisted us to take some but we avoided. They were taking with the food like we take water with food. After dinner we sat on the at the mountain top. It was so beautiful that I am out of words to explain it. There were no artificial light and sound. It was a barbarian silence and the sky was like a veil with stars embroidered in them. The black sky was full with stars. The last time I saw such a sky was in the open seas during a voyage across the oceans. That view was from sea level and this one around 4000 ft from the sea level. We had one navigation officer with us who gave us a brief idea about stars and constellations. We watched the north star, the belt of orion and some shooting stars. It was really a great night. So after all excitement it was time to get the brain some rest so we piped down 4000 feet from the ground on a hut with chilly winds engulfing us as its child.
The next post on the series of Bandarban story will be the story of Tajingdong. Till then Adios Amigos!!!!!!
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