The day started off early…..bike packed, breakfast and ready to go by 7.00am. Mike was not feeling too well… so it was touch and go if he could ride today….after he couldn’t eat breakfast and vomited in the hotel garden. He thought he was up to it….and when the tour guides arrived around 7.15am the bikes were ready to go!
We followed Mike….but his GPS took us on an off road, ox cart track …..that miraculously took us past the World Heritage Ancient Pyu City Sri Ksetra …..so that was an unexpected benefit. The track was a bit hairy in places, with lots of deep sand to negotiate…..but Vince took it in his stride and the ANIMAL did what she was built for. It was only 13 km before we joined the bitumen again…..but believe me it seemed much longer!
Most of the riding was in the country side with the usual array of people working in the fields and the oxen and carts everywhere. Along the way we passed numerous temples and stupas. We stopped at a roadside stall for a drink and some dry biscuits and the local children were quite fascinated with the strangely dressed westerners. Back on the road we stopped after a few minutes as Mike had to throw up. This happened a couple more times……and eventually he agreed to let me give him some medication (Ondansetron) to help.
Further along, about 24km north of Taikkyi, we had to stop as Mike was so ill, he was loosing feeling in his arms and legs. We laid him down and set to work cooling him down with cool cloths, as he was tachycardic and running a temperature. I gave him some analgesia with a muscle relaxant to stop the cramping in his stomach. Before too long he said he felt more comfortable ….and wanted to ride. But we all agreed that was not a good idea. The local shop owner and people from homes nearby were all eager to help…..bringing him some tablets and a mat to lay on……but there was little anyone could really do.
We spent about 3 hours there in total…..the decision was made that Mike could not ride, so I called our tour guide, Win, to get the tour van to come back for Mike and take us to a nearby town to see a doctor. A local woman (wearing a helmet that she never removed the whole time) came with us to show us where the Dr was…..it was a strange, dingy little place, at the back of a small roadside shop. The Dr spoke limited English but he seemed to know what he was talking about and checked Mike pretty out thoroughly. He said that he had gastro and a common cold…..Mike said he was hoping for something more exotic as he felt like crap!. The Dr gave him the all clear to ride. After some further medication we went back to where Vince and Aad (Art) were guarding the bikes and we got ready to ride again….with Aad (Art) in the lead and Vince and I shadowing Mike from behind. We arrived in Bago around 5.30pm, just as the sun had gone down…..our hotel, the Shwe War Tun,
was supposed to be 4 star…..but it was very basic to say the least…..twenty million bugs of all shapes, sizes and descriptions in our room…..I spent most of the night killing them with my shoe as the crawled and flew onto my sheets and into my bed…very annoying…..single beds ….seems no one in Myanmar wants to share a bed….there is a distinct lack of double beds……..we had to carry our gear for miles and up three flights of stairs…..why do they alway give bikers the rooms furthest away?
There was nowhere to get any food in the hotel… so we went for a walk to find a local place. Vince said it reminded him of the red light district in Kalgoorlie with the seedy lighting and dinginess. The atmosphere and surroundings have definitely changed over the past few days……the noise and bustle has returned, the crazy driving on the roads and the lack of sanitation we saw in India is evident for the first time in Myanmar. Our guide tells us we are passing through mostly Hindu areas rather than Buddist areas…..HMMMMMMM…interesting observation….do’t know if there is any direct correlation between the two.