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Day 4. Yangon to Bago (Pegu)

Wednesday, November 1, 2006 permalink [Permalink]

First day on the road towards Bago (Pegu). We really got some sun today and Mucks was quite beat towards the end.

Dave and I got up at 7am - Bill and Mucks were still in bed.  We walked down to breakfast and filled up for the first leg of the journey.  We waved goodbye to the Inn - finally we're moving towards Pegu.

Riding out of Yangon took a good hour, by which time the heat started getting to Mucky - some Brits just don't understand heat or sun exposure - he persisted and refused to wear a bandana or hat.

Somebody shoot me!

The road was filled with pot holes and it was difficult to get a good rhythm going.  We cruised at about 22-25km/hr.  Mucks was starting to show signs of heat exhaustion - we pulled over in the shade and rested.

When Mucks got up he was still feeling poorly and we finally managed to get him to wear a bandana which we dipped in some water for him.

Every now and then the pot holes gave way to good riding conditions and we made good time.  When we passed a toll way the traffic died away - no doubt they didn't want to pay the fees but we were let through for free.  The road here was perfect in sections; straight, smooth and a real joy to ride on.  What spoilt the experience is that the road is littered heavily, when we pulled over in a shady spot to have a snack and some fruit it was almost unpalatable to sit in a garbage dump.

A blast from the past

We were on the lookout for a War Cemetery from World War II, in which Dave's dad fought - we found it about 25kms out of Yangon on the right, heading towards Pegu.

It was well maintained with manicured bushes and lawns.  Dave brought some poppies so we put them into our button holes and toured the grounds.

By this stage Mucks was exhausted - our speed dropped down to 17km/hr but was fast enough to make Pegu by night fall.

Water isn't a problem on this stretch of road because little stalls are dotted every few hundred meters.  They also sell fruit and other food items.  We pulled over a few times to sit in the shade and have a cool fizzy drink.

We slowly made our way towards Bagu.  Lovely countryside, people using the waterways to move produce, houses on stilts and farmland.

Bago on the horizon

The traffic intensified as we entered Bago, less cars but now much more bicycles and motorbikes.  It's a weird feeling when you yourself become part of the organized chaos we call traffic.  After a while it all takes on a perfectly natural life of its own and envelopes you into the rhythm - you exist in the moment.

The hotel touts were onto us and handed the brochures out for various establishments.  Soon we were on our way to check out the Shwe See Seim where we stayed the night at $20/double; here for some bizarre reason they turned on the UV lights during dinner, where the carrots turned green and Billy glowed like a radioactive isotope.

First time on the trip we needed to put up our mosquito nets. They were starting to bite and all around the room we could see finger wide holes through which any insect could have entered.

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