Kalaw to Inle Lake – day 2

Collecting firewood

Collecting firewood

More awesome scenery and dust. We came across a couple more villages populated by different “tribes” though the major differences between them lay predominantly in their clothes. Their languages could perhaps have differed, but as I don’t know them I couldn’t tell!

In one, a bunch of children were poking and scratching at my Newcastle tattoo to see if it would come off. As we left, one boy ran up and gently tugged at my beard. I guess he thought that was false, too!

That tree... that sky...

That tree... that sky...

In a later village an old lady was working on a loom as the village kids played around her. She offered me a gorgeous kitten as a gift but sadly I had to decline. Madame Polska was intrigued by her earrings which looked like large balls of pink fluff – but not danglies, more like “button” earrings. The old lady offered them to her and removed them… to reveal holes in her ears about 1.5cm in diamater through which the material had been bundled! Hence the ear decor was of no use to Madame Polska.

Smile!

Smile!

Lunch was in another village in a dark room in which was stored a huge vat filled with peanuts. I think I ate more of these than I did of the lunch. They were lovely! A young boy hung around as we ate and kept looking at the food until we told him we was welcome to join in at which point he devoured what was left of our watermelon.

On the way to our resting spot for the night, we passed two old ladies carrying an impressive amount of stuff on their heads. They saw me putting suncream on and asked if they could try some. The Burmese version of this – thanaka – stays visible and apparently also helps prevent spots as well as being decorative. They were rather taken with the invisible variety!

Vanishing thanaka

Vanishing thanaka

Dinner and rest was at a monastery. When we arrived, Harry pointed out a nearby shop with tables outside from where we could get a cold(ish) beer and some snacks. Mark and i were there barefoot in seconds as putting our boots back on would have taken too long.

We each sank a Mandalay Red Label (7% and 1500K) and grabbed water and munchies. Anna, Michael and Harry joined us shortly as we waited for dinner to be prepared.

As usual, the food was fantastic. I sucked the chilli off parts of my chicken so I could feed some of it to a little kitten who joined us. We talked for some time until the group split up and just Harry and I were left. We retired at about 9pm as the monks themselves went to bed and the electricity was turned off.

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