21st November 2010 – 160 miles
This morning we did not hang about … partly because there was nothing worth staying for (not even breakfast!) and secondly we wanted to get to Dhaka tonight.
In fact we were at Indian customs so early that we woke the duty officer up! Like most other border crossings, immigration control is always a breeze. Customs can be a bit more obstructive and just as we did at Atari, a bribe of $20 had to be paid out to two Indian officials once the process was completed. And at the Bangladesh / Benapole end, the procedure took slightly longer – yes they did ask for a bribe – and no we did not pay them … we had ran out of dollars!
Once all the paperwork was completed, we had to determine the best route taken to drive to our final destination, Dhaka. We were worried about travelling on the launch ferries in case they were overladen with people returning to Dhaka from their villages after Eid festivities. However, these were the most direct routes and so we took a punt and opted for Benapole – Jessore – Rajbari – Daulatdia to Paturia ferry – Dhaka.
We stopped for breakfast at a couple of street vending stalls for some freshly cooked cha, samosa and jalebee – and felt we had arrived!
And aside from the 20 minute roll-on ferry ride, our next stop was Dhaka. We were worried about driving in Dhaka but the roads were empty. We were fortunate in that many people were still out of town and businesses were closed following Eid (which also meant that we did not have a reception party). Instead we checked in to the Sonargaon Pan Pacific for a couple of nights of “convalescence”.
7,537 miles in total travelled over 25 days!