The first day of the trek we walked for a total of seven hours. The scenery was stunning, but it was the people who made it. Not JJ and Joejoe, they were brilliant, but the real stars were the villagers were beautiful, sweet and friendly. A few of the more remote villagers had never been accessed by white people, so the majority of the younger generation had probably hadn't visited the towns, and therefore not seen a white face!
The funniest example was two young girls who were maybe three or four. They are the grandchildren of the lovely couple who lent us their house for our lunch and to escape the midday downpour. All of the girls were wary of us, but the older ones became more confident when James taught them angry birds on the phone - they were addicted immediately and laughed at every shot! Anyway, I digress... the youngest girl must have been told by her family that if she doesn't behave she will be taken by the white folk! If any of us went closer than 3 meters she would cry, run away and hide behind her sisters.
Along the way JJ and Joejoe have been tryingto teach us some Myanmar words and then asking us for some very obscure English works that we are certain they will never need. We timed our food stop to perfection, the rains had stopped and we were well fed and rested for the afternoon walk. We were all feeling a bit weary when we arrived at Joejoe's Father-in-law's village.
I was first up the rickety outside wooden stops that led to the one level house on stilts. The house was very basic, with two small bedrooms, a cooking area, which I suppose could be classed as the kitchen and the biggest room, and our room for the night, I presume was the family room. They have almost no furniture, using blankets piled high as beds and a small fire pit in the kitchen. The Buddha shrine was the most elaborate item in the house. They did have something that I am certain nobody in 98% of the world will never have and something we were all extremely jealous of.....garlic. No need to re-read that I have written 'garlic' and not just a few bulbs, but piles of 100's upon 1000's of garlic bulbs covering the floor. Joejoe made a small path for us to walk around and then we cleared an area with just enough room for three westerners to lye down! We all made the vampire joke and everyone else we told since has cracked the same line.
We had a few hours to kill before dinner so we had a 'wash' in the outside bucket and James took some pictures of village life whilst I scared some more children by chasing them. We made Garlic Angels in the garlic piles and then relaxed on our bed of blankets.
Joejoe served us a great dinner with loads of traditional Daina tibe food, well maybe not including the fried potatoes, but they were tasty as well.
We chatted with Joejoe and then the generator went off at 9:00pm so we took it as a cue, it was bedtime. We all fell asleep quickly enough with tired legs, cherished memories of a great day and the beautiful smell of garlic wafting through our noses.