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
Day 8, 13/02/11: Burma - The Golden Shadow
Flew to Yangon, had lunch at the Green elephant and then, after returning to the airport we flew on to Heho.
The countryside here was completely different to Ngapali; here green, cultivated crop fields lined the roadside. Pregnant trees slouched & strained under the swollen weight of their fruit.
As the afternoon sun was riding low in the sky we stopped off at a cave. Its entrance was marked with many golden pagodas, inside the cave was filled with gilded Buddha statues. The physicality of standing in this cave was a paradox; the air, the calm energetic flow above waist level felt warm and sympathetic yet below, an icy chill rose fiercely up through the earth's rock; a bone aching chill.
After a few twists & turns we arrived at a monastery where the group conducted a sitting practice. Once again the opportunity to ground myself was perfectly timed. To allow myself the space to just be, to just simply be without eagerness or anticipation was great.
Over dinner I was sat talking to Joanne when mid-way through the conversation she said, 'last night I found a poo in my bed'.
To write that now still makes me laugh out loud, there's something desperately funny about poo humour wherever in the world one finds themselves & in whomevers company. So much so in fact that I don't think I've ever heard anyone come out with anything quite so random at the dinner table, clearly it was something she wanted to get off her chest.
Turns out due to the raisin like description her bedtime companion must've been a mouse or rat - nice, though thankfully it wasn't dysentery.
This evening's meal had been prepared by Bpae & Samphos; the food was exquisite. On leaving, Paula showed Ede the star constellations, 'Yeah, yeah forget his belt... where's Orion?' Ha love Ede.
Jo had invited Paula & me to her, as she called it, morgue-like room, before swiftly laying herself out on the bed & holding a flower. Apart from her hysterical laughter it was actually pretty convincing; hmm must be an Aussie thing!