The contrast between India and Myanmar couldn’t be any more pronounced. Where India is noisy and hectic, dusty and crowded, Myanmar is calm. There is a distinct lack of air-horns on the trucks; people here seem to use their brakes and their mirrors whilst driving, and they have those funny flashing amber lights you get back in Europe to show when you’re changing direction, they don’t rely on the horn button for everything! We convince the government / tour guides that the best way to deal with the mismatch of speed between their people carrier car, our bikes and the Italian’s 52yr old Fiat is to give us the GPS coordinates of the next hotel or sight to see and we’ll make our own way. It’s the first time that Bosoe, our government appointed guide has allowed this with foreign vehicles but by day two of our tour he can see that the Fiat is never going to stay with us as we have to make 350km of mountain roads in one day. In fact, the Fiat didn’t even make it to the hotel on day two. After about 8 hours crawling up mountains at bicycle speeds the Italians put their obstinate feet down and refused to go any further, announcing to Soe and Bosoe that they were going to camp. The Burmese guides nearly had kittens, camping was most certainly not allowed and after much urgent phoning they pulled into a cheap guest house about 100km from our intended rendezvous. All of our hotels have to be government approved before Western tourists are allowed to stay there, I’m not sure who they are protecting from whom with this regulation, but it means that we’re being put in unnecessarily expensive resorts. The idea of finding a nice quiet backwater village guesthouse is not going to happen for the next two weeks, unless you’re a stubborn Italian Fratelli in a tiny Italian car which decides to go no further; that was a joint decision of course, both the Italian Fratellis and their Italian car clearly decided to go no further, the car overheated and bust a front wheel bearing.
Cliff and Doreen
Cliff says please bring a beautiful Burmese lady home for him!
I envy you
Had wonderful Sunday read of your blog - once again transported to another place and time. Sounds like you might actually stay safe there - I do hope so, couldn't take much more of the worry. It's like having a 3rd son!! Always a worry......... Have fun and as always enjoy.
It sounds wonderful, Roop. How many brass hoops have you got round your neck now?!
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Rupert (Roop), musician turned motorbike adventurer