Today was our first full day in Myanmar, with both Steve and I intrigued as to how our tour of this little known tourist destination would be. Our journey was to take us from Kale to Monywa, a distance of 335km’s.
We headed out for the ride with our tour guides in a vehicle in front that we were to follow. The surrounding area was clearly heavily impacted by the recent floods with muddy roads, many damaged and destroyed homes along the way. We also came across several “camps” set up to house many hundreds, if not thousands of family’s who were displaced due to flooding. Typically they were simply tent cities with very limited services.
We were soon allowed to ride ahead for the tour guides and asked to stop in one hours time at the local village. The ride was pleasant with the surrounding mountains gaving a great back drop. We soon made it to where we were to stop and with no moment on us (none of the atm’s we tried had worked so far) we settled in at a road side cafe and waited after ordering a bite to eat and drink expecting our guides to be along very soon.
No word and after about an hour, Ye (tour guide) turned up on the back of a small motorbike to inform us that the car had broken down and that we would have to wait another hour. No problem as this gave time to chat with the locals and wonder the village at a relaxed pace.
After another hour and more phone calls we made the decision to get Ye on the back of David’s bike and to carry on the journey, the others could catch up in due course. Ye settled the bill, put his chin strap on his sun hat and we were off.
The ride was a long one that day due to the delay and carying an additional passenger slowed progress on the rough and twisty hilly roads. Ye did a great job of not complaining and hanging on in some clearly difficult road conditions. It even started to rain at one point and with no wet gear it was a case of tucking up behind David to avoid the rain.
We made it tour destination after dark and all three of us pleased everything ended up ok for us. The other guys would later turn up at mid night after getting buses as the car required parts that were not available that day.
Over a beer at dinner Ye then informed us that he does not drive or ride and has only been on the back of a couple of small (100cc ish) scooters in the past. Today he was passenger on a 1,200cc bike hauling along at over 100km/h on what could only best be described as “average roads” without a word of complaint. He did admit to having the daylight a scared out of him however, which made us all laugh. A day for him to remember! Ha