I began my regular beach walks during the end-of-year lull, when many domestic tourists (Cox’s is a major national tourist destination) chose to stay home before the elections. I’ve realized in the past week how many more people are back on the beach: not only do I see more people, I also see more signs of people and their stuff: cigarette packs, shopping bags, discarded clothing. Yesterday was the second monthly beach cleanup, an initiative from the UN & NGO community here to help clean up the longest sandy beach and show support for the local community. It’s also a fun way to meet new people and still get in a nice beach walk! 🙂
Yesterday I saw a few purple shells for the first time. I’d never seen them on my walks here before!
I’ve been walking the northern part of the beach described locally as “the world’s longest sandy beach.” Since work absorbs much of my time but I love what I see in the morning sands here on this shore of the Bay of Bengal, I’m going to try to post a new photo every day for the coming month or so. I’ve never been the world’s most dedicated blogger, but since I know many of my readers live far in the northern hemisphere, perhaps these little snippets of morning life along the beach will bring you reminders of summer, as your own days slowly grow longer…
When I first told friends that I’d be working for some months in Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh, one of my most world-knowledgeable friends came back with two quick fun facts: a) that Cox’s Bazar has the world’s longest stretch of uninterrupted sandy beach, and b) something more complicated about Portuguese trading from Chittagong port, the word farang, and where Star Trek’s creators got the name for their fictional inter-stellar traders the ferengi. (Clearly, I’ll have to find time to follow up on that particular point since I would not pass the pop-quiz right now…)
Having flown down from Dhaka now more than five weeks ago, and been now numerous times along the road south from the town of Cox’s en route to the southern Upazila (and town) of Ukhiya, I have greatly enjoyed the lovely northern part of this long beach – staring out the window at waves lapping on the shore while listening to my i-pad so as to block out the endless honks of tom-toms, trucks and other cars. I hope at some point to dip further down into Teknaf Upazila and see the full extent of this lovely and extensive beach.
Up here in Cox’s, where I’m spending most of my nights and days just now, I see the beach behind tall hotels of the tourist trade – this being one of the main tourist attractions in BG: see for example the photo of our local river (chock full of moon boats), as seen from the eighth storey of the building which houses our office. Driving south, one passes many moon boats (seen in close-up courtesy of my colleague Hope, and from a moving vehicle while crossing the bridge of this post’s title, in two photos side-by-side just below), then more beach, crosses the bridge, sees more lovely beach, then turns inland past the lovely paddy fields noted in the title and seen both above and below. So…for my friends and family who wonder what I’m seeing day to day – a few shots from recent weeks of the lovelier side of this part of the world. (Plus my favorite street food while shopping, and me at dawn by the paddy fields of Ukhiya town.) Enjoy – and happy December, one and all!