Trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake (60kms) Day 2
Kalaw Travel Blog› entry 251 of 658 › view all entries
January 25th, 2008 – by: Deats
It was a cold early start to Friday morning as the dew was still fresh on the grass and the buffalo's were munching their way through another pile of straw outside our bedroom window. John was on hand though to warm us up with some tea, fried bananas, toast, cake and fresh honey. I was surprised to be getting such a great feed and had only expected a bit of bread and jam. It always shocks me how guides seem to pull out all the stops on treks like these.
After saying fond farewells to our new family, it was onward and upward to begin with. Day 2 would prove a much more rigorous climbing and descending day, but in no way less enjoyable than Day 1. The first important land mark we came to was Mine Ma Thiet mountain, which scaled in at 5420 feet, but thankfully this was not on our path.
Around 11am we stopped for some snacks and tea at Hla Mine village, which is made up of Pa-o, Danu and Daungyoe tribes. Roughly 200 familes and 1000 people inhabit the area and survive by farming wheat and garlic in the dry season and rice, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage and carrots in the wet season. Also growing at regular intervals were biodiesel plants, which John informed us are able to have diesel extracted from them and the government makes it law for each farmer to grow these somewhere on their land.
Leaving this area and continuning on through some beautiful scenery, we passed through a Pa-o village and then stopped at the Daungyoe village of Kone Hla for lunch.
It was around 3 hours more to the Pa-o village of Pae Tuk Pauk where we would be spending our second night and the trail led through rice terraces and eventually to a scenic range of hills, with the village located between a small break in the hills. As we approached, it was easy to spot the locals in their traditional dress of purple longyi, white jacket and orange or yellow towel on their head. Most of the children came to say hello although a few came to ask for money and sweets, which annoyed John more than us.
Our night was spent in the school headmistresses house, who John said earned $1 a day from the government, so the villagers had built her a house and set up a shop for her, in order to lure her away from Kalaw. Supposedly if a teacher wears their 'uniform' then they are entitled to free rides everywhere in Myanmar and a few other side benefits, but the lady relayed through John that if she wore her uniform then pick up drivers would deliberately ignore her and drive on, as they couldn't charge her a fare.
Dinner was another lavish affair with Chicken curry, Prawn crackers, Okra, Rice, Beans, Lentil soup and Sugar cane candies on the menu. Once more we were filled to bursting and it rounded off another great day. It was even colder on this night and Julia and I went to bed around 10pm, wrapped in everything we had with us and 3 huge blankets. This really did the trick and we both slept soundly.
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