In contrast to yesterday, today was a breeze.
We all managed to get up bright and early and on the road in time to give us a chance to take in some of the local landmarks.
We cruised along the National Highway taking in the sights and the hustle and bustle of Myanmar, puzzling once again at the skill needed to load, and ride, a motorbike like this!.
There seem to be a lot more people in the villages, a lot more bicycles in place of motorbikes, but a lot more trucks and buses.
One thing we have also learned on this trip is that being stopped by the police is rarely for an infraction of a local traffic law, but is more likely to be about the opportunity for a selfie. And who are we to decline!
We saw lots of Pagodas including the Shwe Sar Yan Pagoda built by King Thuriya Sanda and reputed to contain eight hair relics from Gonaguna Buddha, the emerald alms bowl of Kassapa Buddha, and four tooth relics of Gautama Buddha in addition to gold images. It stands some 251 feet high and is quite the sight.
Robin, Charlotte, David and Debbie took the opportunity to do a slight detour off the planned route so that they could see this golden rock called Kyaiktiyo Pagoda; a golden temple standing on top of a golden rock which is reputed to be held in place by one of Bhudda’s hairs. One of the most important pilgrimage sights in Myannmar. Bit of a hair raising trip as it can only be reached by truck on hair pin bends, or a recently installed cable car. Well worth it though.
After 190kms we arrived at the Expressway, the only one in Myanmar which links Yangon, the old capital, with Mandalay.
The Expressway was a challenge, not because of it’s condition, which was excellent, but because it has no traffic (lorries are not allowed), is flat and arrow straight. So the challenge was to stay awake!
Our destination, Nay Pyi Taw, was built in 2006 as the new capital of Myanmar. It is vast, laid out on a grid system and very sparsely populated.
The Hotel Kempinski, our lodging for the night is very grand. Today is the last of 6 one-nighters, the longest stretch we have to endure, so a luxury hotel is most appreciated.
And talking of selfies, we thought we would leave you these three, the first a beautiful little girl we met whilst filling up with fuel; the second is Anne with a group of novice monks, and the second a group of children who couldn’t help but love Molly Porsche