For your greatest joy, my dear reader, we reached the next and final point of our notorious Myanmar adventure. If there is still someone who has not understood yet, please call – 0888 … 🙂
Bagan! The most emblematic place of Burma, a well-known place, a place to remember. From movies, postcards, magazines, stamps, boxes with sweets with strange taste for BGN 2.49. There is hardly anyone who has not yet seen these views, at least once. No, actually there is one, Evdokiy Grudev from village Mrun, Pazardzhik district, personally called the editors to apologize that he has not. We forgave him. Just see the pictures and you will understand why there is no need to apologize!
Bagan is the Burmese version of Angkor Wat. An endless field of stupas, pagodas and temples, created since the first Burmese kingdom – X-XIII century. 2,200 in number according to the last counting after the last earthquake. This is an exceptional place with landscapes, mysticism and history.
The midnight (this time) terrible bus, after 8 hours of tottering and rattling dumped us at the bus station in Bagan. While our heads dangled along the way, during the rare glimpses of mobile internet, we succeed to find an attractive place for bivouacking in the coming days. At the bus station, instead of welcoming us with flowers, brass band, etc., we were welcomed by hungry beasts, dressed like taxi drivers. They boarded the bus and all the innocent passengers inside were masticated, gnawed and eaten … with questions and suggestions for transportation. But we, the foreseeing Balkans, we booked “transport on our own account“ while we were on our way to Bagan. So we found ourselves in our new home in Bagan, a wonderful hotel, EVEN with a pool with salt water??!! Who needs salt water hundreds of miles away from the sea, especially in the heat that we will talk later.
Bagan! Our first task was to rent an electric scooter. The state policy stipulates that every tourist-oriented person, if wants to move freely and independently on the dusty roads of Bagan can do it by bicycle or electric scooter. For no other reason, but it is impossible otherwise to walk around on foot the whole area of 40 sq. km, strewed with all kinds of temples, stupas and other architectural antiques under the 45 degrees heat.
The first alternative – on foot – is very attractive, but not on this place and not in this heat. The scooter is another thing, you drive with the stunning 25-30 km/h, you have your umbrella against the sun, which is helpfully held by your fellow0traveller (of course, only if you have both – umbrella and sputnik J), you are having a look at the temples, stupas and other sightseeing of Bagan and whistling an old Burmese proverb. Otherwise, the feeling is like being a driver of trolley N 82. At least, the sound of the scooter is the same – like a trolley. Except that you drive it where you want.
And we set off. The heat was awful, disgusting and shocking. About 44 degrees in the shade, which feels like 49. Where’s the shadow in Bagan? We drove, looked around, clicked our tongues, beer, looked around, beer again, again clicking tongues and finally – lunch. Where? In the first restaurant with more than one scooter at the front – check for quality. We sat, ate delicious food, beer, and …
And suddenly – a rare find! On the table next to us, our curious eyes noticed a young cute couple that somehow stood out from the mass of sightseeing tourists. Not only visually, not only with their laughter, not only with their English accent that they spoke with the owner – restaurateur, who was waiter as well (who told us proudly that he knew a Bulgarian named Krasimira, who was his colleague from his previous job as a support staff in big hotel in Dubai). The interesting couple got our attention with the fact that they had unusual companion, whose life they had saved several days earlier and since then they traveled everywhere with him.
Our new friends told us that in Mandalay they visited a temple where they found the dying bird – something like a sparrow, still with a yellow on the beak. They both are Eco engineers, they adore everything that fidgets and they did not want to leave it. They took the sparrow, took care of it and even gave it a name – Porfirio (named after a famous poet in their country). So, the pale young man-bird was constantly with them, slept in the bathroom of their hotel, ate out of their hands and quietly stood either on someone’s shoulder or sometimes on someone’s hand and attracted the attention of locals and tourists – great attraction, for sure!
Dear reader, we present you Liliana and Juan David (Lily and Juanda) from Medellin, Colombia.
Extremely positive, smiling and warm-blooded young people with whom we agreed with only a word where and how to drink beer in the evening, after shooting the amazing sunset over Bagan. We drove 20-something kilometers with the scooters-by-vocation-trolleys in order to get to the only pub with draft dark ABC beer and we made such a party! With us was our French backup – Jeremy from Lyon – handsome young man who joined them earlier. We laughed a lot, everyone with his own accent, it’s good that our polyglot coped with both their language so we managed to understand each other. And what a surprise – for the first time someone threatened our reputation of beer drinking capacities. It turned out that Colombians were big beer fans.
Let’s mention one more interesting fact – in Burma, the empty mugs of beer are not taken away from the table and when you want to pay the bill – the waiter just counted them and calculated the bill. And one more thing – with so many empty mugs on the tables, the new portion of beers always arrive in frosted mugs, just taken from the freezer.
How we got back after so many beers we will not tell you, it was a difficult and zigzag task. First, where is the road, second, is it the correct one and third – how to deal with the battery Jeremi’s scooter that died. How did we get, we don’t have a lot of memories, but we will always remember the laughter that we laughed out on the way back. It was good that there was no one on the road, only 2-3 mosquitoes sipped the strong ABC through our blood and immediately fall asleep.
In the morning we had a strict program. Who had a hangover – it was his problem, but at the appointed hour (5:30 AM) we were all gathered for a tour of the temples at sunrise. Everyone on his trolley. Under the strict guidance of the young French, who has well studied what and when to visit. After the beer night, the only thing that we wanted was the temples, but we duly experienced the defined itinerary in the name of the mandatory program.
It turned out that Lily and Juanda wanted to travel to Yangon the same night by night bus. We intended the same – what a coincidence! We decided to book rooms at the same guesthouse and wait each other at the bus station when we arrive, because we traveled with different bus companies. Finally we found ourselves in the guest house and we had another wonderful day spent together in the name of the by Bulgarian – Colombian friendship.
Our last evening was very nice and again accompanied by our favorite foamy liquid. Again laughter, laughter, laughter and promises to meet again soon in Bulgaria, Colombia or anywhere else in the world. We sang for goodbye “Oath” of Shturcite (famous Bulgarian rock band from the near past) in Norwegian (in order to make it difficult for the four of us) and after thousands of hugs we said goodbye. We fall in love with these people! Once again our travel karma was favorable for us!