Thursday, 28th April 2011
Good morning Boga Lake(বগা লেক). Another morning at this mysterious place. Today here is no noise from the affluent tourists. Very calm and peaceful environment. Only our group, local tribes, the lucid lake water, and of course the soft clouds over the small hills around the lake. It's the nature of the mountains to keep the clouds on their embracing steeps during night, i believe.
Today we will leave the Boga Lake, and before the sun set, we want to make the Pukur Para(পুকুর পারা) trail to be completed. Every one of us released their bed before 6:00 at morning. After freshen up and wandering around the lake, we have completed our breakfast quickly. Once again, I have used my tasty dry fish(শুটকি) trick with the breakfast.
For your information, right now we are 11 person at our group. 9 of us came from Dhaka, and two of us joined with us from Boga Lake. Now, unfortunately Maruf(মারুফ), and Selim(সেলিম) decided to stay on Boga Lake. This is their first trekking experience, and both of them were daunted by the experience of last day's trekking, and not interested to go further.
After leaving both of them at Boga Lake, we have started our trekking by 7:00. A bit further after the place Chingri Jhiri(চিংড়ি ঝিরি) is a known path for most of us. So we were walking pretty relaxingly. Most of the bushes around the path were burnt to make zum(জুম) cultivation. Some of us didn't like this kind of activities. But in my opinion, this is their land, and they know better than us. So leave it for them.
After passing the Chingri Jhiri(চিংড়ি ঝিরি), around 10-15 minutes later we have moved from the Keokaradong(কেওকারাডং) trail, and started over a new one, specially for me. There were two options for us to reach at Pukur Para(পুকুর পারা). One was through the Saikat Para(সৈকত পারা). But you know Saikat Para(সৈকত পারা) is one of the highest altitude village from Bangladesh. So we wanted to skip climbing that one for today, as we have plenty of time on hand.
Second option that we have picked was using the bypass of Harmon Para(হারমন পারা). This one will be much lengthier compare to the first one. But it will have less hard climbing. So we were walking in a line over the path of Zum(জুম). Right now it was continually downwards trekking. Hardly any flatland around to relax the muscle of the legs(those had to take too much pressure for downhill).
Amid of the trail, under a tree, we have arranged a small break. At that moment, I thought we have done enough downhill trekking. But this process lasted for around 30 minutes before we have reached a forsaken village(Probably Nayjong Para), where no sign of life were available. Not a bird was flying over there. After examining the village for few minutes, we have crossed a small Jhiri(ঝিরি) that has joined with Ruma Khal(রুমা খাল) at bottom.
After the Jhriri(ঝিরি), it was few minutes of climbing, and this was a bit harder for me. During this tour I was not feeling the actual rhythm, and was finding hard to stick with the team. Most of us were moving faster than me. If they required 2 breaks during a hard climbing, I was taking 4/5 breaks. Also I was using my camera, and combining all the situations, I was left behind the trek always.
Within half an hour, we have joined the Ruma Khal(রুমা খাল), and from now, we will meander through this canal for several hours. From our initial meeting point with the Ruma Khal(রুমা খাল), there is a Marma Para(or Murong Para) beside the canal. Most of the adults from the village went to the Zum cultivation, only the oldest and kids were left behind along with barking dogs.
This village was a bit longer and dense in population, and required several minutes to reach at the other end. At the end of the village we found a red tin shaded school which was seen from the place where we have taken a break. During the break, it seemed like half an hour of path to reach at the village. But actually it took more than two hours to come here, and by that time we were already forgotten about this village. Just remembered after finding this red school.
Since this is dry season, the canal was almost dried up. It was easy to walking beside the canals or over the large boulder of stones. Only problem was the scorching sun that was hitting straight from the sky. Also some places around the canal was too dense with green bushes, and I was worried about the presence of snakes. I was wearing only sandals and a shorts along with my red shirt!
After one hour, at some place over Ruma Khal(রুমা খাল), the team has divided into two groups. One was the leading, and other was trailing. I was at the second group, and all of us got tired by the extreme heat. We have managed a break for 20-30 minutes beside the canal, under a tree, and enjoyed drinking water from Jhiri(ঝিরি) with some dry foods. The mysterious crackling sound from the forest was entertaining too.
From the friction with sandal, the inner side of my toes got several blisters. I had to dressed those places with bandages. For pains, and the tiredness I wasn't interested to stand up and start walking again. Also for the rest, body got some relaxation, and it was reluctant to obey my order. Though I don't put my butt often on floor until the trekking is finished, but this time to process those blisters, I had to break my rule.
Next 30 minutes of walking was against my will. My body wasn't interest to walk, but I had to. Most of us were wearing shoes, so they were trying to skip the water, and walking over the stones. As I was wearing snickers, water wasn't any problem for me. Only problem was when the leaches used to stuck over my bare feet.
At one place I was slipped at the middle of the canal while crossing. Half of my body was soaked by the water, and initially I thought my camera hanging at waist might catch a damage. But it was nothing, so not to worry about. I was a bit careless that time, and didn't consider that the flow of the canal could be heavy enough even at this dry season to sway me down.
There was a lovely cool place beside(or over) Ruma Khal(রুমা খাল), where local people used to take break, and used to be refreshed amid of their climbing. We have set a bivouac at that place for the lunch break. It was a long break, possibly nearly around/over 2 hours. By that time, few of us got shower under the small waterfall around there. Interestingly I didn't join them for the first time. Possibly I was too tired, and I was having a terrible back pain.
Our lunch was Maggie Noodles that was cooked there by us. Using a polythene paper over a large stone, we have ate those. Initially few of us were trying to use spoon made from bamboo. But later it was proven inept idea. Those who were not using any spoon, were able to eat faster, so there was always a chance for less noodles at share. So we just threw our so called spoons, and joined them to recovered our loss over the period.
After lunch, another short break, and repleting the water bottles, we started once again. This time everyone was refreshed, so started with new mood. I am not sure about others, but my mood diminished after few minutes of climbing. First 10 minutes was climbing under the sun, no shades or tress over the head. It was just an empty field, and everything was burnt around for zum(জুম) cultivation.
After that climbing, it was pretty dark place. Heavy shades by the dense forest, also the high mountain beside. It was hard to see any trace of the sun from that place. Right side was a straight wall and left side was straight down. So we had to circumspect before making any step.
Me and Tushar(তুষার) was walking a bit slowly, cause I was snapping around, and I wanted him to stuck with me, so that I don't get lost. And interestingly for the first time at our tour, leading trekkers passed a place where the road divided into two. For such places, we used to stop to gather all of us, and move together by making sure we all are in right path. I must believe that they didn't see that. Otherwise they would have waited for us there.
We were tracing them by the mark of their boots over the stones, dry soil. After one place, there weren't any water, so it was hard to find any trace. We decided to keep climbing under the hot sun, where no shades once again. Both sides were shaved hills where you can see at long distance and all are red soil covered with ashes. After 20 minutes of walking, we found one of our trekker climbing at the top of a mountain(10-15 minutes ahead of us). So we started to believe that we are in right trek.
At the peak of the mountain, that place was kind of interesting. People used to say this is the border of Rangamati(রাঙামাটি) and Bandarban(বান্দরবান) district. A large stone is hanging at the peak of the mountain where we were standing and taking rest. It was still warm weather, but this time we were blessed with a strong wind. From that place we could easily see the Pukurpara(পুকুর পারা) village, and the Pukur Para(পুকুর পারা) Lake(Raikhong(রাইখং) Lake). It seemed to me a 40 minutes of walking would complete the trek for today.
But after we started moving, suddenly a heavy rain started to mess everything. It was hard to climb down over the wet red soiled path at mountain. Too much slippy, even for standing. Also the mud stuck under the shoes and made the movement further harder. Unluckily few of us didn't finish the downhill task before the rain. They had to struggle more than us.
During the rain, few of us were standing under my umbrella! and watching the beauty at the far. It was bright light from the sun, and the huge drops from the sky. Appeared like shining pearls were dropping from the sky. Those were kind of scenes which are ineffable through a poor camera. You have to watch that live from the place. So I didn't try that snapping.
Our 40 minutes of path required more than an hour to complete. Hassan(হাসান), one of our trekker got a cram at leg, and required assistance from us to complete the today's task after rain. Also few of us slipped over the plain road. I was careful, cause one slip could cause a severe damage over my back, that is my Achilles heal, i must say.
When we have reached at the village, it was around 5:30, I guess. Niru Tripura(নীরু ত্রিপুরা) was our host at Pukur Para(পুকুর পারা) village. After dumping our bags at his house, we started to wash our body. Three of us decided to swim at the Raikhong(রাইখং) Lake, others were not interested, few don't swim, few were tired.
I thought the lake would be a near place like it was at Boga Lake. But unfortunately it was a bit far from the house, 15 minutes of walking may be, or even more. To increase the misery, it was a straight downhill task(almost 90 degree). Some place of the road was using a hanging narrow log of tree with stairs inside. You have to climb down over those. I got a bit scared, cause it was slippy, and didn't face such a straight 90 trek before.
Nervously(uttering the name of God) climbed that one, and finally reached near to the lake. After removing the bandages, and other stuffs from body, I started to take a bath on the lake along with the other tribal male/females. I can float over water without moving my bodies. So I relaxed over the water for around 5 minutes without any body-movement. It feels like I am sleeping over a cold bed, when I used to do that.
Sun used to vanish from the sky very quickly at mountain area. So we hadn't any option to prolong that session. Had to reach at the house before the sun down. It was hard to climb down that slippy path, but was easy to climb. So quickly we have reached at the hut, and after changing the wet cloths, joined with others for chitchat.
Some of us were cooking at kitchen, few were gossiping about today's experience, few were sharing their regular life experiences. By the way, during gossiping, we were lying on the floor, all of us were tired. Tomorrow we will explore the proximity of Pukur Para(পুকুর পারা) village, so it will be a normal trekking with less stress, and we will have plenty of time at next day, it will be kind of "Eid" for us. Right now no hurry to sleep early after dinner.
We wanted to buy fish(of lake) from the villagers, but it wasn't available unfortunately. So our dinner was the Khichuri(খিচুরী) with Shutki Bhorta(শুটকি ভর্তা). All of us enjoyed that dinner, only Hasnat(হাসনাত). I have used too much spice and dry chili with the Shutki(শুটকি), and Hasnat(হাসনাত) has an allergy against dry chili. So he started to hiccuping, and all of us enjoyed his misery.
This was how another excellent day just ended, where we have passed by/through marvelous beauties, but due to the hard working, or tiredness, only few of those we could enjoy. I think this similar story happens for 90% of the trekkers. Other 10% used to enjoy the total beauty despite of hard trekking. I am no match for those, I must believe that.
If you want to read Day-3, Click Here.