Day 18. Mandalay to Yangon
Today we boarded Bagan Air and flew back to Yangon in the hope that Dave's trouble with his lost passport would be resolved. I managed to sit in the same pub (Strand Hotel) where George Orwell wrote 'Burmese Days'.
Got up before sunrise. We needed to catch the 8:30am flight back to Yangon. The ride to the airport was quick and without incident - although we were asked to remove the front wheels of our bikes at the airport. Yangon Airways is a little less flexible than Bagan Air.
The flight to Yangon took 1 hour and 10 minutes. The bikes arrived with minor scratches and Mucky's front brake got busted beyond repair. Looks like they tried to force his bike into a small space.
With his front brake disengaged and cruising on rear stopping power only we headed straight for the British Consulate to get Dave's Passport sorted.
The British Consulate blues
Both the Australian and British Consulates are on the Strand Rd and in adjoining buildings. Dave, Bill and Mucks entered while I stayed with the bikes. A quarter of an hour later Billy emerged and said that he's not sure how long the whole thing will take.
I decided to leave the bikes within the capable hands of the embassy guars and headed for the Strand Hotel (next door).
A posh 5 star hotel established in the late 1800's. I sat at the bar and sipped on one of my new concoctions - Baileys, Cointreau, Drambuie, in equal measures. The bar staff asked me what it’s called and I said a Shemmy. I've been advertising the drink on flights with the hosties - I wonder how long this one will take to disseminate throughout continental Europe?
Burmese Days - The way George did it
The bar is the very same one that George Orwell sipped his drinks while plotting his novel "Burmese Days" - a copy of which we purchased in Bagan (a penguin rip-off). It's nice to know how much history the place has witnessed. All around the bar are old photographs of dignitaries and the well to do's. I'm surprised they let me inside wearing my bike shorts and cap, stinking of sweat and a big black grease mark on my right leg.
Just out of curiosity I wanted to know how much a room costs at this place - USD 360. WTF.
The boys said that it will take till tomorrow to get the passport so we went to the Thai airways office to ensure they can issue him with a new ticket. After two Shemmys I was surprised I was able to dodge all the pot holes and make it safely back to the Winner Inn.
We had dinner at the New Delhi restaurant not far from the Strand Hotel; good sized meal at reasonable prices.