Fly to: Yangon, Burma
Internal Transfer: 4 flights to Thandwe, Heho, Mandalay & Bagan
Visa required: Yes if British
Currency:Myanmar Kyat (MMK)
Time Zone:+6hrs30mins GMT
Burma - The Golden Shadow
Day 1 - 06/02/11
The minute I'd settled on the train to Paddington, my attention was already drawn to phone conversations. A snippet here, an argument there; a sweet nothing whispered under an embarrassed, shameful breath.Read more
Day 2 - 07/02/11
The flight from Doha to Bangkok was a little under 7hrs and for the majority I found myself in a deep sleep, woken only by the clatter of the next meal.
Day 3 - 08/02/11
After a blissful night & recovering somewhat from jetlag I awoke diagonally spread across the lavish bed; this place in which I find myself is sumptuous... divine...
Day 4 - 09/02/11
Up at 5:45am & left the hotel at 6:30am, the flight to Yangon (Rangoon) took approximately 1hr. On arrival I was surprised by the size of the airport for some reason I was expecting it to be more like the airports encountered in Nepal and the more remote parts of Mongolia.
Day 5 - 10/02/11
Over breakfast it was decided that I would accompany Jo, her egg stains and her Lonely Planet Guide into Old Rangoon. A place she'd wanted to visit ever since seeing a pub by the same name as a wee nipper in old London town.
Day 6 - 11/02/11
After an indulgent buffet style breakfast we headed out on small boats to a beautiful turquoise inlet. With the sun shining its warmth upon the crystal clear waters the scene was divine;
Day 7 - 12/02/11
Headed out towards the market this morning, though got waylaid en route by a hilltop Pagoda. A little local boy, Ash led us up to it & as we circumambulated he danced his way around the small containing wall.
Day 8 - 13/02/11
Flew to Yangon, had lunch at the Green elephant and then, after returning to the airport we flew on to Heho.
Day 9 - 14/02/11
Ah Valentine's Day and I can't think of any people I'd sooner spend it with, the beauty and warmth of this Sangha is really touching me deeply.
Day 10 - 15/02/11
Up for breakfast & then walked to the tribal market; Joanne let Tatisan cut her hair. If looks could speak then Jo's faced was awash with uncertainty, her posture rigid with doubt & the whites of her eyes flashed with fear...
Day 11 - 16/02/11
Up for the 3hr bus journey to Inle Lake, on arrival we took up our positions, five to a long, thin boat single file.
Day 12 - 17/02/11
This morning I awoke feeling much better, though I still couldn't face any food preferring instead to just hydrate with some electrolytes.
Day 13 - 18/02/11
The day began with a teaching from Roshi followed by some group meditation practice. The group passed around Roshi's Marla beads & checked-in; basically how were we feeling, what was present and what would we like to share.
Day 14 - 19/02/11
I have to pinch myself regularly as this trip is evolving with such depth. Historically I'm a planner but here, through not controlling things; anticipating or pre-empting, the richness of the experience is so much more than I could or would have possibly imagined;
Day 15 - 20/02/11
Due to an unsettled night, I was so grateful to share a morning walk with Esther. We talked about our experience of Burma, along with whether we had physically experienced any energetic sense of oppression whilst being here.
Day 16 - 21/02/11
Up for a Dharma talk with Roshi and a group check-in; normally after booking a trip I often doubt myself, ask myself 'why'...
Day 17 - 22/02/11
Up at 5:40 to see Paula off; I feel somewhat strange saying goodbye to someone I really care for before time. Mind you I anticipate it as more of a 'catch you later me dear'.