A Travellerspoint blog

Inwa - Perhaps

I HAVE GOT THE NUMBER OF DAYS MIXED UP SOMEHOW. THIS CANNOT BE DAY 15 AS THE CRUISE IS 15 DAYS & THERE ARE STILL A FEW TO GO.

ANYWAY - ON WITH THE SHOW ...

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THIS IS THE MOAT OF A FORT OF SOME KIND ...

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HERE'S THE LITTLE GIRL WHO WAS FISHING FOR COCONUTS LAST NIGHT.

SHE HAD HER EYE ON ME THEN & HAS HER EYE ON ME NOW, TO SELL ME A SOUVENIR.

SHE HAS A SMALL PIECE OF METAL THAT WHISTLES WHEN SHE BLOWS ON IT .. QUITE INGENIOUS ..

WE BYPASS THE FORT & MOUNT OUR SURREY WITH THE FRINGE ON TOP FOR A LITTLE RIDE ALONG THE SAME STREET I WALKED ALONG IN THE DARK LAST NIGHT ...

DIFFERENT GIRL - SAME JOB ..

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ONE OF THE BIGGER LOADS YOU WILL SEE ON A LADIES HEAD ..

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IS THAT MARIANNE BACK THERE - MUST BE HER, ONLY ONE OTHER PASSENGER TOOK THE REINS ..

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THE SOUVENIR GIRLS KEEP PACE & EVEN TRY TO SELL US STUFF WHILE WE ARE MOVING ...

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WE STOP TO HAVE A LOOK AT A PAGODA - THESE TWO IGNORE US ...

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OH NO!

SHOES OFF TIME AGAIN ....

BUT NOT ME - I TAKE SOME TIME WATCHING THIS ....

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MESMERIZING ...

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I BITE THE BULLET & TAKE MY SHOES OF FOR THE WALK AROUND & INSIDE THE PAGODA --- ALL WOOD & VERY NICE ..

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THERE ARE SOME KIDS GETTING LESSONS INSIDE, MAKING A LOT OF NOISE, RECITING SOMETHING BY THE SOUND OF IT .. SO THERE ..

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AND HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A YELLOW OUTFIT ... VERY SMART .. LOOKS LIKE ARTHUR'S LEGS BESIDE HER.

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UNDERNEATH THE BUILDING, Mr SO & I HAVE A CHAT WITH HER .. SHE IS VERY PLEASANT ..

Mr SO POINTS OUT A MARK ON THE PILLARS SUPPORTING THE PAGODA. HIGH WATER MARK WHEN THE RIVER FLOODED.

THE RIVER IS A LONG WAY AWAY & AT LEAST 30 METERS BELOW HERE. A SOBERING THOUGHT.

THE RIVER BRINGS LIFE, BUT ALSO DEATH & DESTRUCTION SOMETIMES ..

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WE REMOUNT - TRYING NOT TO RUN THE GIRLS OVER .. & HEAD TO ANOTHER BUILDING ..

THIS IS A ROYAL BATH .. OR WAS ONCE UPON A TIME .. FOR PRINCESSES I THINK

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THIS IS THE BUILDING - WHAT DO YOU THINK? A WATCH TOWER MAYBE? I DON'T KNOW ..

BUT THERE ARE SOUVENIRS HERE.

MARIANNE & BARBARA DID SOME HEAVY DUTY BARGAINING WHILE I CHATTED TO THE LITTLE SOUVENIR GIRLS - TRYING TO CONVINCE THEM IT WAS DANGEROUS TO RIDE ALONG BESIDE US LIKE THEY DO.

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THEY TOOK NO NOTICE OF COURSE & HERE WE ARE PULLED UP FOR ANOTHER PAGODA STOP .. THESE THREE ARE HEADING IN THAT DIRECTION TOO ... SO I FOLLOW ALONG ..

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FIRST WE HAVE TO CROSS THE ROAD ... & I SEE A GREAT PHOTO COMING OF THIS TRUCK ,,

BUT WOULDN'T YOU JUST KNOW IT - THOSE GIRLS JUST HAVE TO GET IN THE WAY .. SPOILING MY SHOT.

OH WELL, WHAT CAN YOU DO?

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ERIC & HIS UNCLE HAROLD ON THE RIGHT - TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS ..

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THOSE GIRLS AGAIN - WILL THEY NEVER GET OUT OF THE WAY? ...

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OK - THEY ARE NOT IN THIS ONE - THAT'S ROBERT ON THE RIGHT ..

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A FEW MINUTES AROUND THE PAGODA & ...

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IT'S TIME FOR A CUP OF TEA .. HERE.

NO SOONER DO I GET THE TEA & THE GROUP TURN UP & IT'S BACK IN THE SADDLE ..

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THE GIRLS DOUBLE UP & CATCH A RIDE WITH MIKE FOR THE RIDE HOME ..

THESE OBJECTS ARE CHARCOAL BRIQUETTES I THINK ..

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ANOTHER AMAZING LOAD CARRIED ON THIS GIRLS HEAD.

DO MEN EVER DO THAT?

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NOW PASSING THE LIMIT OF MY WALK LAST NIGHT. WHEN I WAS THERE, I WAS LOOKING AT THIS RATHER IMPRESSIVE BUILDING AND HAD A STANGE CONVERSATION WITH A LOCAL HE SEEMED TO BE SAYING 'CHICKS'.

I STILL DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS THE LOCAL BORDELLO OR A CHICKEN SHOP.

BUT THIS WAS THE PLACE I HAD TEA LAST NIGHT. MINGALABA TO YOU ...

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AND HOME SWEET HOME .. A LADY ON SHORE DOING HER LAUNDRY ..

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AND SOME GIRLS - WITH ARTHUR ABOUT TO TAKE THEIR PHOTO. CAREFUL ARTHUR - THE WIFE'S ON BOARD ..

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READY TO GIVE YOU A SLAP ...

Posted by hasbeen 13:18 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

MANDALAY - of 'Road to Mandalay' fame

FABLED MANDALAY - AS IN 'THE ROAD TO MANDALAY'

WE WERE DUE TO DOCK IN MANDALAY ITSELF BUT LOW WATER CAUSED US TO DIVERT ACROSS THE RIVER IN SAGAING .. WHICH MEANS WE HAVE A BIT OF A BUS RIDE TO REACH MANDALAY.

HERES ONE OF MANY BAMBOO RAFTS WE WILL SEE & IT IS THE BAMBOO ITSELF THAT IS BEING TRANSPORTED.

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A RATHER ATTRACTIVE, ALMOST CERAMIC LOOKING PAGODA .

SAGAING HAS MORE THAN IT'S FAIR SHAR OF PAGODAS - HERE ARE JUST A FEW ..

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SOME VERY LARGE MOTHS HAVE STOWED AWAY ON THE BOAT ..

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ON THE BUS, PASSING SOME FISHERMEN ON THE RIVER ...

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WE STOP TO VISIT A PAGODA & HAVE TO WALK A LITTLE WAY, PASSING THE STONE CARVERS ..

VERY HARD, DUSTY WORK ...

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INSIDE THE PAGODA, ONLY THE MEN ARE ALLOWED UP INTO THE AREA WHERE PEOPLE ATTACH GOLD LEAF TO THE BUDDHA IMAGE.

I SHOULD HAVE REALISED THEN THAT THE YOUNGSTERS IN BLUE WERE NOT GIRLS ..

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DEFINITELY GIRLS ON THE LEFT. BUT BOYS ON THE RIGHT. IT'S A MONKS INITIATION CEREMONY ..

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GIRLS ...

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AND BOYS ..

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AND THIS IS DEFINITELY A GIRL - YOU CAN TELL BECAUSE SHE IS ON HER PHONE.

IT'S VERY TIRING TO BE A PILGRIM ... LOTS OF STEPS TO CLIMB ..

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THOSE LADIES LOOK POOPED OUT.

A VERY YOUNG MONK TO BE ..

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IS THAT LITTLE BOY HAPPY? ....

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WE HAVE MOVED ON TO MANDALAY PALACE .. A VERY LARGE, WALLED & MOATED COMPLEX OF BUILDINGS ...

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ON OF MY FEW GROUP SHOTS .. EIGHT OF THEM ANYWAY. THERE'S MIKE IN WHITE .. WHICH REMINDS ME, I FORGOT TO TELL MY MIKE STORY AT AN EARLIER STOP.

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HE HAD BEEN ASKING ONE OF THE SOUVENIR SELLERS ( MAYBE THE FRIEND OF MY POT GIRL ) IF SHE HAD A SHIRT OF A PARTICULAR COLOUR & DESIGN. IT HAD TO HAVE MYANMAR SCRIPT & FOR SURE A VERY LARGE SIZE. SHE HAD SAID THAT SHE DID NOT HAVE ONE WITH HER BUT WOULD PHONE HER MOM TO GET HIM ONE ONE. THEY ARRANGED TO MEET THE NEXT EVENING BUT SHE WAS NOT THERE.

NEXT MORNING HE TRIES AGAIN, WITH ANOTHER GIRL - A VERY CUTE GIRL THIS ONE. SHE HAD ONE FOR HIM BUT NOT EXTRA LARGE. SAME THING - SHE HAS TO PHONE MOM & SHE WILL HAVE ONE FOR HIM WHEN HE GETS BACK IN THE EVENING. THE EXTRA LARGE IS A COUPLE OF DOLLARS MORE BUT MIKE IS OK WITH THAT.

SHE IS THERE WAITING FOR HIM WITH AN EXTRA LARGE SHIRT & MIKE GETS ON BOARD VERY PLEASED.

ONLY PLEASED UP TO THE POINT HE TRIES THE SHIRT ON & IT IS STILL TOO SMALL. HE REALISES THE GIRL HAS ADDED AN X TO THE LABEL.

I LAUGHED OUT LOUD - I SAID THE GIRL WAS CUTE - SHE EVEN CHARGED HIM AN EXTRA TWO DOLLARS FOR THE BIGGER SHIRT.

TOO, TOO FUNNY.

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A FEW TOURISTS HERE ...

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SOME GOOD LOOKING BUILDINGS ... THE RELEVANCE OF THE LITTLE WHITE HUT ON TOP WAS EXPLAINED BUT I WAS NOT LISTENING ..

AND WE CROSS THE MOAT, WITH MANDALAY HILL IN THE DISTANCE. I NEVER DO GET TO CLIMB THE HILL.

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MARIANNE & I - RELAXING AFTER DINNER WITH A BEER OR TEN, BEFORE SOME GIRLS COME ON BOARD TO PERFORM A SHOW FOR US ...

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VERY BEAUTIFUL LADIES - THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Posted by hasbeen 13:23 Archived in Myanmar Comments (1)

The Bell at Mingun & the worlds largest unfinished Stupa

HEADING UP RIVER TO MINGUN TO SEE THE FAMOUS BELL ..

WE PASS THE WELCOMING COMMITTEE ..

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BEFORE GETTING TO THE BELL, WE GET A CLOSE UP LOOK AT WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LARGEST STUPA IN THE WORLD, BUT UNCOMPLETED, WE ARE TOLD IT MAY NOW BE THE LARGEST PILE OF BRICKS ..

... IMPRESSIVE ALL THE SAME ..

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MARIANNE - LOOKING FRESH AS A DAISY, IN FRONT OF SOME MORE PILGRIMS ... THEY SURE DO GET PACKED INTO, & ONTO, THOSE TRUCKS ..

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A FEW FOOD SELLERS AT THE ENTRANCE -- WE TURN LEFT AND START THE WALK AROUND THE BUILDING .. THERE WERE SOME PEOPLE RIGHT AT THE VERY TOP & I AM REALLY SORRY I DID NOT GO UP THERE TOO ...

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PERHAPS THIS IS THE PILE OF BRICK THAT WAS MENTIONED ..

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AT THE BACK NOW & THE CRACK CAUSED BY AN EARTHQUAKE IS CLEARLY VISIBLE ..

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AFTER GOING RIGHT AROUND THE STUPA, IT IS ONLY STEPS TO THE LARGEST UN-CRACKED BELL IN THE WORLD - Mr SO, TRYING HIS BEST TO CRACK IT ON THE LEFT ...

MEANWHILE, OUTSIDE - THE KIDS ARE PLAYING ..

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SHE DOES NOT SEEM TOO IMPRESSED ..

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MIKE PROBABLY HAD A GO AT RINGING THE BELL.

AND HERE IS THE BUILDING THAT HOUSES THE BELL ..

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ANOTHER ONE NOT TOO IMPRESSED ..

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AND THE KIDS PLAY ON ..

WE WALK DOWN THE STREET PASSING QUITE A LOT OF SOUVENIR SHOPS ..

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AND COME ACROSS THIS STUNNING BUILDING ...

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I HAD A SAW LIKE THAT ONCE. GREAT FUN TO MAKE IT SING ..

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MOST PEOPLE WENT OVER THE BUILDING BUT I SAT IN THE SHADE WITH JACKIE & HAD A DRINK OF SOMETHING COLD ... JACKIE HAS BY NOW PARTIALLY RECOVERED FROM THE DREADED LURGIE THAT AFFECTED A FEW OF THE PASSENGERS .

BUT NOT THE KENYANS WHO HAVE NOW DEPARTED.

THEY WERE RUMOURED TO HAVE DRUNK 32 BOTTLES OF COMPLIMENTARY GIN BETWEEN THEM WHICH MIGHT EXPLAIN IT .. THEIR NOT GETTING ILL, NOT THAT THEY HAVE NOW DEPARTED ..

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LOVELY TOES ...

AND YES - THAT IS A CHICKEN IN THE LADIES LAP ..

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SITTING THERE, I HAD A GIRL FANNING ME & SHE DID THAT ALL THE WAY DOWN THE STREET BUT STILL DID NOT MAKE A SALE I AM AFRAID.

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I HEADED FOR SOME SHADE & A NICE CUP OF TEA HERE. THAT IS SOME SORT OF PRESS BEHIND THE LITTLE GIRL ..

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BACK TO THE BOAT - TOURISTS ARRIVING AS WE GET READY TO LEAVE ..

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I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TAXI ..

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WE HEAD NORTH ... PASSING MORE LIFE ON THE RIVER. THINGS YOU ARE UNLIKELY TO SEE ANYWHERE ELSE ..

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THESE PEOPLE ARE STUCK ON A SAND BAR ...

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MARK TWAIN AGAIN, CHECKING THE DEPTH ..

& SHE IS TELLING EVERYONE WHAT TO DO ..

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ANOTHER ONE STUCK - ONE OF OUR COMPANION SHIPS

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WE SPEND A WHILE HAULING THEM OFF THE SAND BAR ..

WE STRUCK A SAND BAR AS WELL. QUITE THE SHOCK WHEN THE BOAT GRINDS SUDDENLY TO A HALT.

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THIS IS THE PILOTS HELPER. HE GOES OUT IN FRONT OF OUR BOAT CHECKING THE DEPTH.

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MORE RIVER LIFE ..

STANDING ROOM ONLY ON THE FERRY .. PACKED IN LIKE CATTLE YOU COULD SAY ..

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AND SO ENDS ANOTHER GREAT DAY ON THE AYEYARWADY RIVER. YOU SHOULD TRY IT SOME TIME SOON.

Posted by hasbeen 13:28 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

Kyauk Myaung & more pots

WE HAVE SEEN POTS BEING MADE BEFORE ON THIS TRIP & NOW WE WILL SEE SOME MORE ...

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EXCEPT THESE POTS ARE BIG, REALLY BIG,

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REALLY REALLY BIG ....

UNUSUAL T-SHIRT THE GIRL IS WEARING ..

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I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE LITTLE BALLS ARE, LITTLE BALLS I EXPECT ..

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PASSENGERS MEETING THE LOCALS ..

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POTS IN THE MAKING ...

KIDS ..

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KIDS MULTIPLYING ..

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MR So EXPLAINING THE PROCESS TO NANCY IN THE DOORWAY NEXT TO THE INCREDIBLY GENEROUS CREW MEMBER WHO ESCORTED US SAFELY AROUND ON SHORE & HANDED OUT ICE COLD TOWELETTES TO CLEAN OUR FEET WITH, MARIANNE LOOKING SUITABLY IMPRESSED & ROBERT ...

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THAT WAS ALL TAKING A WHILE SO I STEPPED OUTSIDE & WATCHED LIFE GOING ON OUTSIDE ..

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A FEW PEOPLE WORKING VERY HARD ..

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IN MYANMAR - YOU DON'T SEE TOO MANY PEOPLE SITTING AROUND NOT DOING ANYTHING ..

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YOUNG MONKS COLLECTING ALMS FOR THEIR ONE MEAL A DAY ..

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SMALL OBJECTS - I KNOW NOT WHAT - BEING CARRIED BY THIS LADY

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MORE KIDS ARE ARRIVING ...

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I WAS SITTING ON A BENCH HERE, JACKIE WAS ON THE BENCH TOO IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY ...

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KIDS JUST SITTING AROUND WITH US ...

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HERE THEY HAVE FOUND SOMETHING ...

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PROUD AS PUNCH, THEY SHOW US THEIR TREASURE - A MOTH ..

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LEAVING THE KIDS & THEIR MOTH, THE GROUP REASSEMBLES & WE WALK OVER THE ROAD .

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I THINK THIS MAY BE A KILN .. OR SOMEWHERE THE POTS ARE LEFT TO DRY PERHAPS ..

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ON UP THE ROAD WE GO - SAYING MINGALABA TO THE LOCALS .. SURPRISINGLY FEW PEOPLE ABOUT, & NO OTHER TOURISTS AT ALL ..

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WE STOP ON A HILL TO HAVE LOOK AROUND .. MARIANNE & JACKIE HERE ..

AND POTS & POTS & MORE POTS ...

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THIS LADY, LOOKING LIKE A MODEL STEPPING OUT FOR A FASHION MAGAZINE PHOTO-SHOOT ..

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Mr So LEADS US UP HILLS & DOWN. INTO TINY BACK ALLEYWAYS .. NO ONE SEEMS TO MIND THE INTRUSION ..

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WE LEAVE THE POTTERY MAKING AREA & HEAD BACK TO THE BOAT. BARBARA BRINGS UP THE REAR AS USUAL - TAKING PHOTOS. MARIANNE & I ARE TRAILING THE GROUP TOO ..

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Mr So TRACKS BACK TO FIND US & LEADS US INTO A WARREN OF BACK ALLEYS WHERE WE MEET THESE PEOPLE ...

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& THIS LADY ..

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WHO POURS US A SMALL GLASS OF CLEAR LIQUID EACH .. WATER?

MARIANNE TAKES A SWIG & AN IMMEDIATE GRIMACE. BARBARA & I ALSO HAVE A TASTE & IT IS NOT WATER, FIRE-WATER PERHAPS, & NOT TOO BAD.

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Mr So TAKES US OUT BACK WHERE THIS GENTLEMAN IS BUSY MAKING THE NEXT BATCH. BARBARA ASKS HOW LONG THE PROCESS TAKES, IS IT A COUPLE OF MONTHS, A FEW WEEKS - WHAT?

TWENTY MINUTES - WE COULD HAVE STUCK AROUND FOR THE NEXT BATCH.

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A PURE SPIRIT, MADE FROM PALM - NONE OF US WENT BLIND OR GOT BLIND DRUNK ..

BUT BARBARA DOES LOOK A TRIFLE SQUIFFY ..

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IS THAT YOUR SECOND LADIES?

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WELL - THAT WAS A GOOD FUN DAY & WE FINALLY HEAD BACK TO THE BOAT..

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BYE KIDS --

Posted by hasbeen 13:35 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

The Ayeyarwady Dolphins & it's third defile

THE THIRD DEFILE?

Any idea what that might be? No? Me neither.

So - I asked Mr So.

The answer - a Defile is a gorge, like a canyon. The first defile is upstream from the third.

When we get there we will spin around & head back south ..

Somewhere along the way, we spotted the very famous Ayeyarwady Dolphins. Maybe four of the 50 or so left in the river. It was very exciting & I have a video that shows them but if you blink you miss them so I will not post it.

You will just have to take my word for it.

We also saw at least one on the way back south but not even a video of that one.

On with the show ...

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We were advised that on no account should we drink the water from the tap in our cabins. The tap water is filtered river water. Large quantities of bottled water were supplied & we were told to use it even for brushing our teeth.

I guess this lady missed the E Mail ...

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Something here being hoisted up to or down from the Pagoda ..

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Marianne - having a chat or chatting up the barman, it's hard to tell with her.

Beer is complimentary so we just helped ourselves from the fridge but anyone who had a particularly busy day would ask someone to bring a bottle over...

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It must be close to here that we turned around .. does not look much like a defile to me but then what do I know.

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This a gold mining camp ..

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Extremely large log rafts ..

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Marianne again - not having much luck in the chatting up department ..

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Stowaways ...

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Passing MIngun ...

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Passing Mandalay - the ferris wheel is in an amusement park, just a walk away from the hotel I will be staying at in a couple of days ...

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About to park the boat at Sagiang - the kids spot us & raise the alarm ..

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Still a while before getting off the boat but that's the end of the cruising .. and a very fine cruise it was too. Pandaw is the name of the company. Not cheap but excelent ..

Posted by hasbeen 13:45 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

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