Sunday 1st January 2012 – New Year’sDay in Dhaka

Spent the morning printing out and filling out visa forms ready for tomorrow. Went down to the port after lunch to see all the passenger ferry’s that go to all parts of Bangladesh, so many of them and so many people, mixed in with this are loads of little boats that criss cross from one side of the river to the other carrying goods and people, some of them laden so much you’d think they’d sink and all operated by one man with an oar skulling. We hired one of these little boats to go out on the water to get a different view of the port, it’s as busy on the water way as it is on the streets, hundreds of little boats going back and forth across the river and bigger boats going up and down the river, with a mixture of ferry’s coming and going. The smell wasn’t particularly good as there’s so much sewage in the water and it’s a really horrible black colour, but the atmosphere of a busy port more than made up for it. We was allowed to just walk on the ferries and have a look around without any problem at all, went on one which was an old paddle steamer, although it has a diesel engine now but it is still driven by paddles. Got shown around this one, was shown the first class cabins at the front of the boat and a big dinning area with a huge table running down the middle where people are obviously waited on hand and foot, apparently Michael Palin filmed part of his series Himalayas on here, at the back of the boat are the second class cabins, where the cabins aren’t quite so luxurious and the dining area is more basic wooden tables and down stairs is third class where people mark out there spot with a sheet on the ground.

Went back to the hotel by rickshaw, Becky and me in one and Dave, Helen and Katie in another, they did all look a bit squashed in but they said they were fine. The two rickshaw riders were having a bit of a race on the way back, with us winning but we did have a bit of an advantage of only two of us and our rider was a lot younger. A good day.

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