After two intense days at Inle Lake I was ready for a day or quiet contemplation. In those two previous days I had experienced so much that I needed some time out to absorb it all. Plus I had completely knackered body out with all that cycling the day before. So I spent the morning in the guesthouse writing in my journal and reading my book on the balcony.
As I had so little money I didn’t both with lunch and ate a couple of crackers that I had been carrying around in my bag since Australia.
In the afternoon we took a taxi from the guesthouse to the airport. Not before sampling a little bit more Burmese hospitality thanks to the Gypsy Inn Guesthouse. The wife of the owner came out with a tray of homemade hot snacks for us to sample before we left. They were delicious and it was such a wonderful warm goodbye from Inle Lake.
The drive to the airport was about an hour along the most horrendous mountain roads in a taxi with no seat belts in the back. I was sat in the back. It was hair-raising. So to cope I adopted my traveller stance of plugging in my ipod into my ears, closing my eyes and transporting my mind to another place. It generally works.
The flight to Mandalay was only 25 minutes. At the airport there we met an Australian couple with whom we decided to share a taxi for the 44km drive to the city. They were so lovely that we agreed to meet up with them later for dinner.
On the walk to the small restaurant for dinner we came across a German guy who we recognised from the flight to Mandalay. We stopped to say hi and invited him along for dinner too. We all headed down a small dark street to find the Too Too Restaurant. It was a small local place with only Burmese diners inside. It was lit with fluorescent lighting and had a small selection of plastic table and seats. There was a serving counter at the back featuring an array of curry dishes and vegetables. I chose the mutton curry which was delicious. We were presented with an array of side dishes at the table including curried pulses mixed vegetables and a huge bowl of rice. It was cheap food and great to eat local.
On the way back we stopped at a small local bar so the boys could have a beer. I was still watching my pennies and I really dislike beer, the only beverage on offer. As the guys wanted to stay out late I decided to make the rather precarious walk back to the guesthouse in the dark. There is pretty much a blackout at night in the city as the electricity is intermittent. Luckily I found a very friendly rickshaw who took me back and chatted away to me about the dodgy government and the saffron revolution. It was very insightful.