Wednesday 28th December 2011

Wed 28. Calcutta to Jessore, Bangladesh. 82 miles

Managed to get out off Calcutta with not too much difficulty, once I was out of Calcutta the roads where all tree lined and not too many lorry’s, the road was fairly narrow which caused traffic jams when you arrived in a town it just got so busy, must have been hit about 4 times today, not badly but nearly knocked me off each time.

Got to the border which wasn’t too bad, just had to fill out a form before they’ll give you an exit stamp, which was ok, once I’d found out where to go, and then fill out another form to enter Bangladesh! Think it only took about an hour in total so not too bad. Biggest problem today has been, not being able to stop for a pee, there’s been people and there dwellings all the way up to the border and although Indians just stop anywhere to relieve themselves nobody takes any notice, but as soon as I stop a crowd develops!

Met an American couple on bikes today who were going in the opposite direction to me. The funny thing is that when I was getting my visa for Bangladesh the jolly man that interviewed me showed me a card from this couple!

It’s been warm and humid today, first time in a while, it did mean I was extra dirty tonight all the dust was just sticking to me where I was sweating and there’s been a lot of dust, particularly on the ride into Jessore this afternoon it was a job to see some times!

There’s a lot more bikes here and it feels a lot more busier even than in Calcutta, but still feel perfectly safe, went for a wander this evening and sampled some of the local food, don’t know what it was, I was told what it was called but didn’t catch what was said, but whatever it was nice.

Tuesday 27th December 2011, Calcutta

Had a shave first thing, just outside the hotel by a street trader, it’s so cheap it’s easier to get them to do it!

Went for a ride around Calcutta, rather than walk, I can cover more ground. Can’t say that there’s a lot to see really!

Managed to sort of fix my camera mounting on the bike. It got broke about a week or so back when I left it on the bike over night.

Got my visa for Bangladesh, so straight after breakfast I’m on my way again, should get to Dhaka Fri or Sat, then I’ve got to stay there for a few days while I sort out visa for China. But should meet up with my friends the Barr family, who have been cycling in Bangladesh over Christmas which will be good and I’ll be able to spend New Year with them.

Be glad when the next few weeks are over, once I get my visa for Laos in China it should be a lot easier as visas can then be got at the borders.

Monday 26th December 2011, Boxing Day in Calcutta

Went back to the Bangladesh high commission, was told to be there at 8 as there tends to be a big queue and yes there was but not at the window I needed and it didn’t open until 9.15! So bought a visa form off one of the many people selling them and filled it in, then got told you need to fill in 2, so bought another one, made a mistake and was told any corrections and it will be rejected so brought another one. When the window eventually opened at nearer 10, handed over the forms, only one was required in the end apparently Indians have to do 2! Got told to come back at 11.30 to be interviewed. I was interviewed by a jolly chap who never really asked me anything. Got to go back tomorrow at 5pm to pick passport and visa up. Plan to leave here Wednesday after breakfast.

Sunday 25th December 2011, Christmas Day in Calcutta

Merry Christmas everybody hope you’ve all had a nice day!

Started the day off quite late as I was still trying to download some pictures to the website, it takes forever! After breakfast and all downloads had finished I went out to play the tourist, just what I love doing, not! Walked around the corner from the hotel and saw a barbers so decided to get my haircut. Got rather more than I bargained for, firstly he didn’t listen to the grade of cut I wanted, so I now look like someone off crime watch as my daughter put it! At least I won’t need a haircut for a while! Then got a head and upper body massage, nearly turned round and hit him when he first started, as he was smacking me on the head!

Went for a wander around a cemetery strange place to go but it was recommended. A very eerie place all the huge tombs of different shapes and sizes over grown with vines and all you can here is crows crowing, very spooky!

You get hassled a lot more here than in Mumbai or any other city I’ve visited in India, by people wanting you to go to there shop, feels a bit like Istanbul!