Inle Lake is spectacular. A huge body of water that's home to hundreds of people, floating gardens, temples and incredible bird life. I saw a kingfisher and was very excited.
We visited a few places by boat in the morning and then went to a vineyard in the afternoon. Myanmar wine! I was too excited after basically only drinking beer for two months. We tasted a four wines and the sauvignon blanc was the best, obvs. So we ordered a bottle and watched the sun set behind the mountains. I did give Tobias the warning that the wine would probably tip me. So we ordered another glass. Then we went back to town and I thought it would be a good idea to have some margaritas. The last thing I remember is Tobias telling me to stop shouting on the way home. You can take the girl out of Burton and all that.
So the next day we waited around for our night bus to bago. I was a bit hungover moany. Just a bit. The bus was a vast improvement on others we've taken and I actually got some sleep in between watching fires set by poachers burn the tops of the mountains. In classic burma style we arrived in bago at 5am but there was the ubiquitous organiser who helped us get our ticket for the next bus, found us coffee and wifi.
Left bago at 6.30 am headed for kinpun, to see one of myanmar s most important monuments, the golden rock. A giant rock that's supposed to be balanced on the hair of a Buddha, hundreds of burmese trek up to see the rock every day and place gold leaf on its surface.
You can either walk 7 miles with the pilgrims to the top of the mountain on which the rock is precariously balanced or you can take a pick up. It was 35 degrees and I was sweating whilst sedentary so we opted for the pick up. This is a lorry with benches in the back. They don't set off until it's full. It can 'fit' about 60 people. That's too many Fyi.
The Rock really is balanced somehow, it looks like It's about to tip at any moment. Being a woman, I wasn't allowed to touch it. This isn't Buddhism. The monk in bagan told me explicitly there's no reason to exclude women from religious ceremony as all people are equal. Fact.
But it is beautiful, gold against the setting sun. As it's such an important burmese monument, everyone was loving the westerners being there and kept asking for photographs with us.
We met another traveller Simon, a lovely austrian guy on the way back down and spent the evening with him, sampling some burmese whiskey. We're headed further south today to the city of Hapan. Transport is a four hour pick up. Hmmmm...