Sunday, 17 August 2014

Beauty of boats on Inle Lake, Burma

Today we woke, had our breakfast and then followed our boat driver down to the docks. It cost 15,000 MMK (£9) to hire him for the day, but since it was split 3 ways it was only £3 each. Bargain. The journey down to the lake took about 40 minutes but was beautiful and fun to see all the little kids running around and all the fishermen beginning and ending their trips out. 

The lake itself was a lot bigger than I expected and dirtier too, but given the backdrop of lush green mountains and sunshine, it was still a beautiful place and I'd definitely say it's a must do for those visiting Burma. We first went to see a pagoda and I bought a few souvenirs. One of them I am totally in love with, this wooden boat with a little fisherman and his net on the back. It was just cute and I'm looking forward to add it to my travel memorabilia shelf. 

On our way to the water village we passed some of the fisherman and their technique is just incredible. It's hard to describe but basically they control the paddle/ row using their foot leaving both hands free to work with the net. Of course they don't want to use the motor otherwise they'll disturb the fish in the water. It was actually amazing. I have a video I'll post when I get home, but yeah... Just... Awesome! Some of the people doing it are so young too, I mean... When I was 8 years old I was busy worrying about what Pokemon cards I could swap to get a shiny, yet here they are, helping to make a living for their family and seemingly happy to do so. 

The water villages themselves are also fantastic. So much effort has gone into each building and the fact they have to row to get anything beyond their houses seems like an awful lot of effort! Lots of little kids were enjoying themselves swimming in the lake and as usual, were excited to see us pass which was pleasant. They even have floating gardens where they grow their crops. Watching them work on them was something else, so much skill and patience required!

We stopped at the jumping cat monastery, named that because a monk had previously taught a cat to jump through a hoop. However, to my sadness I learned that the monk and the cat had both passed away. There were lots of baby kittens there though, and they were just adorable! 

Eventually come midday we decided to head back because the heat started to come through the clouds causing us to fear burning. We'd also seen everything that we wanted and so headed back.

Back in the village I stopped at the market and bought myself some jewellery. I also bought my dad a little gift heheheh. I hope he loves it 😉. After going to the bakery I met Athenia back at the hotel and all I can say is, well, remind me to learn about strangers before I offer to share a room with them to split the cost! This girl is VERY odd, she is a total hygiene freak. She keeps pressuring me to take a shower. Girl... I'll take a shower when I want thank you! (Don't worry it's not because I smell, I've already showered today she just insists on every morning and night despite the fact the waters freezing cold and it takes my hair forever to dry). She also is very selfish - she wouldn't let me go to food places I liked, and wouldn't let Nicole and I look in any shops because she despised them. She also wouldn't let me charge any of my gadgets because hers were so much more important than mine to be at 100%! Gah! She's also the worlds slowest walker it's actually painful. I ended up just walking ahead with Nicole and leaving her behind haha. She was getting on Nicole's nerves too. She had gone really weird over the fact that she had the tinniest cut on her foot, making such a huge deal of it even though Nicole and I could hardly see it. It's so weird that for someone so selfish she's an aids worker... How does that work. Dunno. Just yeah... I'm glad I'm a very patient person.

Anyway, we sat around in the hotel for ages as we were told the tuk tuk would take us to the bus at 4pm, but it didn't get there till 5:30pm then the bus didn't leave till 6:30pm and it was hot on the bus but luckily I got two seats to myself. The bus finally arrived in Yangon at 5:30am. It was an awful bus ride as I vomited and felt ill most of the way! It was weird because it was fine when I first got on. I read the book 'will you remember me when I'm gone' about a mum dying of cancer... And oh my gosh, once again (as with me and all books lately), I cried my eyes out! I finished the book in one sitting and it was a great book. Anyway, Athenia was much more poorly than I and threw up loads along with having awful diarrhoea. Yuck. 

When we got to Yangon we got a taxi to a hostel she had booked for us and again we only have to pay for one night even though were really staying for two as we arrived at 6:30am. The hostel is really nice and we get our own air conditioning units each and a curtain to hide us from the world. There's also a million plugs which is really handy because most places have a severe shortage of them! So yeah, I passed out right away. 

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