Bangladesh: 24-hour day trip to Barisal, Part 1

My in-laws on both sides hail from Barisal, which is both a division and a district. In fact my husband was born in Barisal. I was getting curious about the place and was itching to see it. Even though I didn't pray for it, somehow the forces of nature made it possible for me to visit it.

We left Dhaka at 5 AM. Barisal is only 142 kms from Dhaka by road. But there is no direct road route. There is no freeway with 65 mph limit. One has to cross the Padma River. It is the same Ganges River in India and changes the name to Padma River when it enters Bangladesh and pours into the Bay of Bengal, which is a part of Pacific Ocean.

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The road to the river is clear early in the morning.

And so knowing all that, you know our travel was loooong. We arrived at the river bank to take the RORO (roll on roll off) ferry at about 8 AM. There were a lot of people and automobiles waiting, we waited for about an hour. I took that time to people watch. I really enjoyed watching this one guy who was cooking breakfast just in front of the little eateries. He was like a well-oiled machine, making paratha (bread) and scrambled eggs in a snap.

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He got a break and another guy took over cooking duties. I find it amusing that the food is being prepared at the front of the restaurant. I suppose it is such, so that people will see the food and be tempted to go and eat. I was too, even though I know the food was full of dust, that's part of the seasoning right?

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We were eventually loaded into the ferry. It was an unforgettable experience. There was chaos, cars outmaneuvering vans and buses and people everywhere. It was a hoot. As we slowly drifted along the Padma, I was giving my camera a work out.

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It was a hot day, with the sun out in full force, but the sky was hazy.

It's a very busy river. Some parts are shallow and aside from the ferries, there were smaller boats transporting passengers and ones carrying some building materials, i.e. sand for construction.

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  1. I had my share of dust seasoned and fly tested food at roadside eateries in Pinas during my field days LOL.

  2. Great portraits, as usual, and what an amazing road on top!

    What a tragedy in Bangladesh yesterday, so many casualties. How awful!

  3. Love all the profiles of people active along the river! Intriguing captures! And the hazy sky in the last photo creates quite a serious mood in the river landscape!

  4. Marvelous captures as always!!

    Such a tragedy there yesterday!! So sad, so many lives lost!

    Hope you have a good weekend! Enjoy!!

  5. Love all the portraits, well done!

  6. Looks like a very interesting trip. You got some great shots.

  7. That's an awesome river and so much traffic on it, great shots.

  8. That's a long trip but it gave you many times to take interesting pics. The river is very busy indeed!
    Enjoying your shots :)

  9. Lovely shots! Vast and wide river!

  10. Beautiful boats. That first shot is delightful.

  11. I love your shots, but i am a bit sad for the fate of that river with those houses along it and you know what they throw on the river. It is the same styles of some informal settlements here, now giving a lot of problems to the country and the environment as a whole.

  12. i have been planning to try travelling through the RORO here--from Batangas Pier to anywhere in the Philippines. Hopefully, soon!:p

    i enjoy looking at these photos, Maria. the first image look like a street in Angeles City, with acacia trees on both sides of the road. i've always love driving through that road.

  13. I absolutely love your posts, Maria, and always look forward to them. You really have a wonderful way of zeroing in on wonderful details, especially related to people. Great travel documentary!

  14. Dust as seasoning... :D well said.
    Lovely captures. Each place has a life!

  15. Just crossing Padma River is an adventure in itself already. And oh, I'm curious what paratha seasoned with dust will taste like :)

  16. That's a very busy working river! You absolutely excel at portraits...I feel as if I've traveled on the ferry with you!

  17. I am glad you got to visit your husbands homeland. A wonderful series of image s- I particulary like the people shots.
    Have a wonderful week and thank yo for stopping by my blog last week - we have been away trecking and only just back - so catching up!

  18. Barisal is the city where I grew up and stayed there until I graduated. It was known as the Venice of undivided Bengal. May I use some of the pictures shot by you? You can also stop by my blogs if you like. Just click Google look look’s blogs and you will be there. You can also Google Views from the Balcony for locating some of my other blog pieces if you like. Thank you. Take care and stay cheerful.


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