Longest beach in the world!!

Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Bangladesh  ,
Friday, April 21, 2006

Eight of us ended up getting the early morning bus down to Cox's Bazaar, supposedly the longest beach in the world and THE most popular beach resort in Bangladesh. That's what people kept telling us anyway. The bus driver was a hoon and had us bouncing around the back of the bus as he speedily swung and swerved his way to the coast. It was such a rocky ride that we had a couple of chuckers behind us that made good use of the spew bags! Yuk!

The rickshaw wallahs had tags on us as we all disembarked from the rollercoaster but we knew the hotels we wanted to look at were just around the corner so quickly side stepped them all. That didn't stop them following them us. Mel did some fast talking and got us all a discount at our chosen digs! The place even had a pool on the roof (that I wouldn't be using). We all decided we wanted to check out the local Buddhist Monastery so negotiated a deal for us all to get there on rickshaws. Andrew decided he wanted to ride there himself so gave his rickshaw wallah a rest and chucked him in the back. Everyone thought it was hilarious! A huge white guy cycling up the road with a Bangladeshi on the seat! We lost everyone on the way, which we couldn't work out because there was only one straight road (?). We found it was closed but a boy appeared and said we could go in. It was very Burmese in character and had of pictures of famous Burmese pagodas inside. We donated some money but as we were leaving the little bugger asked for more, then where we had left our shoes, an old guy had taken them somewhere else and demanded money to get them back!!! Cheeky monkey!

We went back to find the others had been taken somewhere else. Oh well, at least they had seen something of the town! We decided to check out the beach and said we would meet everyone down there. It was only a 5 minute walk from our hotel. On the way David and Andrew decided to teach some local boys how things are really done and crashed a game of cricket. The bat was made out of the stem of a banana tree! As we wandered further towards the beach we were mobbed by a bunch of kids with a soccer ball, so David and Andrew had them all jumping around trying to catch the ball while they tossed it between them. We lost them at the empty beach where some nasty looking fat man with a juicy betel nut grin and grimy shirt tried to get us to hire deck chairs. Sand is good enough for me, even if it is loaded with sandcrabs! I looked after the bags while the boys and Mel went in. Women are not supposed to show skin here in Bangers so need to go in fully clothed. I couldn't be stuffed wearing a whole load of clothes in. The water didn't look that nice anyway. They said it was like very briney bathwater. Soon a few young girls came over to sit with me and stare. I chatted to them for a while - not that they understood me but what do you do when four youngies sit next to you and stare right at your face? We communicated enough for me to figure out who was whose sister and which one was the friend. Not long after, a bunch of men turned up to stare and came up quite close. When Mel came out they were still standing there staring, only about 3 metres away. I asked them what they wanted but of course they couldn't understand and just continued staring. I got bored with them very quickly and annoyed. A few young girls is one thing but a bunch of sweaty men with their hands in their pockets - I don't think so. I suggested to Mel that we try a Magic Circle. I said that I bet if she drew a big circle in the sand and told the men and boys they couldn't come in, they would more than likely stay out. Strange as it sounds, it worked a treat!! We made itHUGE! They obediently moved further away when she forced them back whilst drawing the boundry but still stood and stared. It was fantastic! It actually worked! When more men came over to stare and went to step over the line, the other men there indicated to them that they were not to cross into the middle! How amazing is that?! There was one idiot who decided he'd test my patience and bravely kept placing his toe just over the line. The others were appalled! They kept pointing at him and telling me all about it so I picked up my thongs (flip flops for all you foreigners) and chased them away! I can't belive they ran! Mel and I were on the floor! The game came to an end when our boys finished their frolicking in the waves. Back to the hotel pool it was to wash all the salt off.

Carrying on with the cricketing theme, David and Andrew had noticed loads of different games of cricket going on the the fields behind our hotel so they went out and crashed the games again. The local boys were so excited to have some Aussies playing on their teams. We game them heaps of grief from the roof terrace!! They played until sunset then brought some of the members of the team up to meet us. One boy spoke english particularly well. When Pete tried to trick him into thinking his name was Mr Bean he said - I don't think so, he's a comedian! Shot down in flames, or what! God, that program gets to some out-of-the-way places. The last place I remember seeing that was at the Turkish/Iranian boarder crossing on the Iranian side!

There are some absolutely massive resort hotels on the sea front. There must be some pretty flush Bangladeshis around for them to be here. They look pretty strange though, just perched out there in the scrub near the sea, all alone with no other buildings around them.

We found a very small, secluded seafood place for dinner that sat right on the sand, although it was quite a way from our hotel. Well it looked secluded in the dark! Great place, and they did build a bonfire for us but we had to wait over 2 hours for our dinner, and by that time we were ravenous! Nice fish. Would have been a great spot for lunch because they had a badmington net on the sand. Thankfully for me Bernie was there for all the mozzies. They usually go for me!

Next morning Andrew had to get an earlier bus than the rest of us so he and David went off to see some more Buddhist stupas then it was time to get him to the bus stop and wave him off. Last time we saw him was in London in 2003. I wonder when we'll meet up again. He's now off to South Africa to visit some friends and go to a wedding, then go home to Perth. He wants us to meet in London in October. Maybe we will and maybe we won't.

We had just enough time to get back and pack for our bus. There was a one day game in Chittagong tomorrow that we might just go and see.
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ddriscoll225 on

Magic Circle-- ROFL
I was with a bunch of volunteers ( www.hodr.org ) rebuilding schools and playgrounds in rural Bangla after cyclone Sidr. The crowds often interfered with our work (surprise!). So we would take a 'kunta' (heavy iron-tipped digging bar) and draw a liberal 'Magic Circle of Doom' (as we called it) around the site. Moving the crowd back was easy-- they're really quite docile. Any local who dared extend toes over the line was threatened to have them chopped off by the kunta, a serious weapon. It worked wonders. I'm sorry to find that we were not the original inventors of this technique. In a separate incident, volunteer John's rickshaw-trike driver crashed into a tree, so John chucked the wallah on the back and pedaled to the destination himself. As I see in your blog, this was not a first either. Crazy Tim and John later bought a rickshaw-trike and traveled all the way to Calcutta, much to the amazement of the locals.

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