On God's speed through the Ayeyarwaddy delta
Pathein Travel Blog› entry 23 of 27 › view all entries
We leave today at 7.30 a.m. to Pathein, where we will spend the night to cover the last stretch to Chaungta tomorrow. We are lucky to be travelling in the dry season, because now the estimated driving time is about 9 hours and in the wet season this would have been twelve hours because of the huge detour that is necessary at that time. Many roads are inaccesible when the rains come and then we would have to set course to Yangon and take a right later on back to the west.
For the main part we drive through a furtile area where many people are working in the fields.
The only stops we make are a few toilet stops and a lunchbreak around midday in the tiniest of places, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Ordering our food is a challenge here, because there is no menu and English is something the locals have never heard of. Fortunately our co-driver jumps to the rescue, he translates and serves as a waiter. The food isn’t bad, but some dishes appear to be rather spicy.
We arrive in Pathein an hour ahead of schedule and we can check out our rooms, that Aart-Jan has already warned us for, an hour earlier as well.
We stroll into the village to get a drink somewhere and to try and get away from the heat, and we accidentally end up in one of the places Aart-Jan recommended. The Coke and shade are delicious, but we will not be eating here, there’s simply too many flies. We move on, looking for the Clocktower and we run into the sisters from Limburg and their spouses and decide to go for another drink.
After dinner we split up and Trudy and I visit the evening market that is held every day near the banks of the river. We check out the food and goods that are for sale, and this time most of it is meant for the inhabitants of the village and not for tourists, and the locals check out Trudy and me. Once again we stand out of the crowd because of our size. Me in particular, since the minimum difference in height between me and the tallest Burmese man is at least twenty centimetres.
At nine p.m. we are back in our room and we come to the conclusion that today we have undertaken the least of our entire journey so far, but that isn’t even so bad, considering the heat and my cold and all...