We were woken at 5am by the younger monks chanting. Fortunately I had my earplugs in so managed to drift off again until 7am when we all got up for breakfast. The aim was to set off relatively early and get to the market town on the south of Inle Lake for lunch and to catch our boat to Nyaungshwe.
We, of course, met more children on the way who delighted in seeing their pictures on the backs of our digital cameras. It was particularly hot, but we made it in good time to browse the (touristy) market and relax with lunch and blisters.
Michael dug out his laptop to show us the photos of their trip through Pakistan. Soon, we had a crowd of around 10 locals nosing in! Unlike many other countries, though, there was no threat of it being stolen.
At around 1pm we boarded our narrow boat an hour-long trip up the lake, passing buffalo being bathed and fishermen doing what fishermen do best (the good ones, anyway).
Finally at Nyaungshwe we split up to our respective guest houses and said goodbye to Harry – truly an excellent guide and highly recommended. I’d picked Gypsy in on the waterfront to have my bags transported to as I’d been told they had $3 dorms. This turned out to be wrong – they only had rooms. I got a $6 room for $5 after haggling. There were shared facilities and a “hot” shower I tested. It wasn’t that hot, but was better than freezing cold.
I checked in, sorted my stuff, grabbed my towel and shower gel… and watched a staff member beat me into the shower by seconds. Instead, I washed the dust from my trousers and hung them out to dry as I waited for him to finish. After quarter of an hour I finally got in… and the water was freezing. He’s used all the hot!
I met up with Mark and the Polish couple for dinner at Mister Cook where I had an excellent – and reasonably priced – ham pizza. That, a beer and a cola came to 7000K. Steep for dinner in Myanmar but great food.
We arranged to meet at 7:30 the next morning at their guest house for a boat trip of the lake. It had already been organised – by the Polish couple I’d met on the bus to Kalaw the other day!
Rather than finish my book, I took advantage of the working electricity in my room to defy “The Generals” and break the law. I fired up my laptop and watched Rambo 4. The viewing of which is punishable by 5 years in jail here, due to the movie’s anti-Myanmar government stance. Of course, pretty much everyone here with a DVD player has now seen it. Well, you have to if someone tells you you’re not allowed.