|Many hours to make a few miles, such is the way in Myanmar. I ended up having to “charter” a private boat for the last little bit, but I made it. For what is the tourist hot spot, Bagan sure is quiet.
As the temples are spread out over miles and miles, walking is not an option, So I rented a pedal bike and set out. Thankfully it’s flat, cause it’s sure hot. By the end of the first day I’d seen a shwack of beautiful old temples, met every hawker in the area, (they even chase you down on motorbikes), and had sore knees and ass. For a dollar a day, the bikes leave a bit to be desired. The seat kept sinking, and what I would have done for a couple more gears. All that said, it was a picturesque day, finished off with a killer sunset up top a temple, and I actually got some exercise. That evening I met up with a couple of Canadian guys, had a superb diner, a couple of drinks, and then hit my bed like a rock.
The sites I wanted to see the next day were spread out even further, down dirt/sand trails. It was time to hire a guide with wheels. The most popular method of transportation around here is by horse drawn wagon. Not usually my first choice, but the only one I had. I spent some time shopping around, looking for a healthy horse and a driver that didn’t look like an ass, both for my pleasure, and the horses, then made a deal. He treated his horse right, but had the usual chauvinistic attitude. Half jokingly, he asked me if I wanted to drive, fully expecting me to say no. I jumped at the chance and he was shocked, even more so when he realized I knew what I was doing. Soon enough he was laughing and lounging in the back of his cart, shouting out directions and howling at the looks on the locals faces when they saw a tourist driving, and a woman to boot. We caused quite a stir, and enjoyed every second of it. Once again, the sites were breathtaking. It’s baffling to think that all this was built on man power alone. Some of the temples were built simply in an attempt to out do the previous king.
For lunch we stopped at a little village and I spent an hour or so wandering around. The town is famous for the carts and wheels they build. They ship them all over the country, and even overseas, or so they claim. It was probably just a sales pitch, but it made me think about good old Uncle Dicky. I bet ya he would have went for it. It was an interesting process to watch, and it made me appreciate what I was driving.
That evening I went on another shopping frenzy, and then went to bed, wondering how I was going to get all this stuff out of the country.
I blew the next day being lazy and catching up on this damn journal, on paper at least. Every page I write, the more I dread having to type it into the computer. I need one of those dictating programs, or a secretary. Or else I could just learn to type. Bah. Next… another night bus for Yangon. Double Bah.