The Soul of Bangladesh
In the morning we wound up our camp from the narrow causeway between river and the small Ashoa Amra Juri village and proceeded into the main channel, now called Kocha river. We soon landed up in water chocked with water hyacinth. All hand on board had to make way for the boats by pushing the exotic nuisance aside with our paddles and then just plough through the tangled green mass. In the centre of the water way, there was a row of big boats making best of the tide. The heavy traffic in the morning mist almost looked like an image of Panama canal. Weaving our way through all this we reached Sannashi bazaar, a busy ferry point. We quickly did our usual shopping of buying some fresh vegetables and provisions and carried on to Mongla through Pasu river. By now it has become a tangled mass of channels and names of the rivers change every few hours of our journey.
Mongla is one of the major ports of Bangladesh. The place also has some cement factories around and there was also a large unit that looked like a fertilizer plant or some chemical industry. Mongla port also had a very visible presence of Navy and coast guards.
By now the the famous mangroves of the river delta have started and there is slush on all shores with thriving colonies of mudskippers and crabs. After buying petrol for the boats from an inland gas station at Mongla, we carried on and reached a small cluster of huts perched on a narrow strip of land that was barely above the high tide line. The place was called Kamar Khola, a settlement of few hundred people huddled on a narrow strip of dry land. We formed a human conveyor chain to haul our luggage through knee deep slush and squeezed on the dry land to camp there. At night we could hear the high tide water lapping against the embankment top virtually at the door step of out tents.