We were supposed to have a later start, up at 6.00am, breakfast (absolutely uninspiring) at 7.00am and sightseeing at 8.00am….but when we discovered that we had to go in our bike gear and ride slowly through the congestion of town just to see another Pagoda and Buddha Images…..we decided to give it a miss and stay at the hotel for the 2 and a half hours catching up on some housekeeping chores (photos, blogs, emails, maps etc).
We eventually headed off around 11.00am for the 100k trip to Kyaikto…..the bikes were allowed to go on ahead but instructed to stop at the “big junction” ….which never came! We did stop just outside of Kyaikto….and were joined after about half an hour by the Mercedes Sprinter…..they had been in last position and didn’t know where the others were……we were confused as there is really only one major road……after about another half an hour the tour bus and two other 4×4’s eventually arrived….they had gotten lost somehow…..it was all a bit of a fiasco….especially in the searing heat as the riders sweated it out in our adventure riding gear and helmets.
In Kyaikto we were directed down an alleyway to park in an unfinished underground car park….with a mud floor and we were worried the ANIMAL would sink! Back up on the street we were shown to a “restaurant”….I use the term loosely as it was nothing more than a big room, clearly unfinished with a few chairs and tables and no resemblance of a kitchen……I didn’t want to eat there. After some discussion we moved across the road to something that at least looked a little more decent…..but sad to say the food was inedible! The boys moved the bikes from the underground area to out the front of the restaurant. Lunch cost 5500 Kyet for Vince and I and it was crap!
We moved onto our hotel just a few minutes down the road…..the Shwe Hirthar Hotel…..again single beds…..again basic….but at least it had toilet paper! Again no food available at the hotel….we had a shower and did some washing….our clothes were so sweaty! After a little afternoon nap we went for a walk to find a local place to eat….not easy as many places are not very hygienic. We did eventually find a place with limited offerings but the food was really good….5500 Kyet for Vince and I. Mike is feeling better, still has a temp, but keen to go on an “ice cream” hunt! Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful finding ice cream or chocolate….but Vince and I did buy a small papier mache Brahman Bull….whom we have named “Marmalade” who will now be our trip mascot (Vince has been wanting a mascot since London)…Vince and the boys are still going on about this Ox Cart thing…..I really, really hope they are just winding me up!