It was a lonely, restless night in my single bed…… I always having trouble sleeping when Vince and I are apart and can’t snuggle up together…….so I was awake before our alarm went off at 6.00am to pack the bike….we had a bit of breakfast at 7.00am which was very nice ….especially having some fresh fruit….watermelon, pawpaw and banana….yum!
Our tour group went for a walk at 8.00am to the local Bazzar……it was quite interesting to see the various stall holder’s wares….but the fish stall sent me scurrying quickly away due to the smell!
I was unable to locate any glue for my boot (the one that had been repaired in Pakistan) which has lost it’s sole again and is currently held on with electrical tape….I am in a bit of a bad way really ….equipment fail wise……I have only one glove….the other was lost under escort in Pakistan….my Dryrider Jacket zip has failed for the third time (already repaired twice – in Ankara (Turkey) and then Varanasi (India))……so I can’t do it up at all….my Senna is currently held together on my helmet with electrical tape…despite replacing the sticky pad kit so many times I’ve lost count….so I’m a bit of a wreck at the moment!
Back at the hotel we were quickly on our way by 9.00am. Riding through the rural countryside was just beautiful as we saw the locals going about daily life….driving their oxen and carts, working in the fields, some, including women working on the roads and the children smiling and waving at us as we passed. The atmosphere was so different to India and the environment so much cleaner…..people here really take pride and it shows.
It took us a couple of hours to get to Pinday…..and at one point we corner marked for the 4×4’s so the would know where to turn but they still ended up turning right instead of left and we had to back track after them. Unfortunately, riding up the mountain we managed to get a puncture on some glass….when I dismounted I could hear the air rushing out of the rear tyre…..luckily we have been carrying the old ones with us…..the number of times I’ve cursed those dam things and they bounce into my spine…..and now I’m grateful!
Our guide, Win, stayed with the bikes whilst Nyi, our Burmese guide, took us to the Budda Cave….it cost 300 Kyet for each camera to be used and US$3 each entrance fee. It wa a pretty amazing place with over 8000 Budda’s. There was a maze to walk through and at the top of the cave was a meditation cave….we all had fun crawling into it and practicing our meditation poses! Further into the cave we saw where the actual cave ends.
Back in the car park the fun and games began with the ANIMALS personal mechanic, Uncle Aad (Art)….. Who not only changed the tyre over for her…..but protected her from a group of obnoxious German tourists who were having a field day gawking and touching her……dangerous when she is perched on a pannier with her rear tyre off! We have now perfected the three pronged approach ……Vince Asks (no response other than them shushing him) …..I Tell (backchat and cheek but no movement), and Art Enforces (armed with a tyre leaver he barged past me and pushed two of them back from the ANIMAL)……it worked! Our tour guide had eyes as big a saucers….I don’t think he has had much dealings with Aussies who are under pressure and pissed off!
We apologised to our other tour mates for the hold up and we we’re soon back on the road and stopping for lunch. Whilst the others had lunch, Aad (Art), Mike and Vince managed to track down an angle grinder to change over Mike’s chain……its been a mechanical kind of day….for us bike riders! (The Mercedes Sprinter had to stop the group the other day due to windscreen and turbo problems….and the next day after this had two flat tyres).
After a quick lunch of fried noodles, vegetables and egg ( 3000 Kyet for two) and green tea we were on the road again. The rain was already torrential as we mounted the bikes and it wasn’t long before we were completely soaked through. We retraced our way back the way we had come and then continued onwards to Inle Lake. We arrived at our hotel around 4.00pm and were hassled by the zone collection guy who was completely oblivious to the fact that we were dripping wet, trying to unload our bikes and might have more pressing things on our minds……if he wanted money(10,000 Kyet each) he was going to have to wait!
Settled in our room I washed out some clothes….sent others (my riding gear) to the hotel laundry….and set up our room to dry out as much of our stuff as I could…..our panniers had leaked so everything had to come up three flights of stairs, panniers completely emptied and all equipment dried off…..a really big job!
We walked with Aad, Mike, Claire and Emeil to a nearby restaurant and had a simple dinner ( 16,000 Kyet for Vince and I )….then we asked about desert but they didn’t have any…..disappointed we left but Claire spotted a pancake sign and we discovered the most delicious pancakes (5,000 Kyet for 2 pancakes and 2 hot chocolates).
It was an early night as we were bushed!