Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Bhawal National Park

Last weekend when Alice and I had a van we decided we'd visit a forest not far out of Dhaka. It is actually called Bhawal National Park. Although only meant to take 1 hour to get there, it took almost 2 but did take less than 1 to get back. It is less than 38 km!!
A forest?? Not exactly what I would call a forest in Australian terms. Yes it was a collection of trees but I actually wonder if they were planted at some time as they seemed to be quite orderly. Underneath the trees was just dried leaves, no bushes, few grasses, no flowers. Tracks and footpaths wound around the park with a lake that has numerous arms in the centre of the park This lake provides a focus with short boat trips an option, fishing rods for hire (but not sure if you would actually catch anything) plus the banks are a nice place on which to sit. There are also pony rides, rickshaws for the lazy and a cleared dirt area in the middle, which appears to be the ground for organised cricket matches.
Visiting on a Friday, it was obvious that the park is a popular picnic spot for locals over the weekend. There was bus after bus parked there. But a Bangladeshi picnic consists of taking huge cooking pots, like 1 metre across, lighting a small fire, and cooking or reheating using these pots.
It was a nice change of scenery but I would also be curious to see it at a time of the eyar when it wasn't so dry. Mind you, then there would probably be mud and leeches!
Here are a few photos.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Army Golf Course in Dhaka

FINALLY . . . . . . I managed to take my camera with me to the golf course, mind it didn't help my golf much at all for the first few holes while I was taking photos.
This is the 9-hole golf course that we mostly play. There is also an 18-hole one of international standard where lots of tournaments are held and the huge amounts of water manage to grab lots of my balls. This is the practice putting green below.

Anyway the Army course only really has water that cause problems on the 2nd and 3rd holes, where i still manage to lose a ball or two. But it is really nice to get out onto the green grass, amongst the trees rather than being on the dirty streets and continually being stared. As it is directly next to the international airport, there are frequent interruptions from noisy planes taking off. So low is the Saudi Airlines plane on take off every single time that I am sure a high golf shot would hit it. There is also colourful bouganvilleas, some other trees that had lots off pink flowers on the weekend and the "instant" gardens that are a feature of Bangladesh. You go to the nursery and buy already flowering plants such as pansies, salvia, asters, petunias and even dahlias, then put them in the ground. But off course they don't last long as the poor plants have a very limited root system. There is no clubhouse at the moment but they are still working on the huge one being built there and hopefully it is getting closer to opening as most of the surrounding fencing has been torn down.

Then of course, the exercise is much needed and sometimes I think my golf is getting a little better!!

Next to the golf course one of the locals goes fishing!

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