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  Bagan  |  13.06.2008
 
 

Lesh had a huge long lie in this morning till past 10.30am. I on the otherhand was awake at 5am when the power went off, then I managed to doze till 7am. By the time Lesh was awake I had already had 2 showers from sweating due to the no fan situation. I have no idea how he can sleep through the intense heat. So we had a late leisurely breakfast and tried to decide what to do. It was already way too hot to try and cycle anywhere so we decided to leave the temple hopping till late afternoon and sunset. We attempted to find an internet café without success and so ended up back in the room needing another shower from sweating from a walk down the road. Luckily the power was back on so at after a shower we could lie down and not sweat too much...th e only downside to the not sweating thing is....it is boring. We played a few games of scrabble, I played solitaire a few hundred times before I decided I needed to brave it outside again since this was so boring.

We ventured out for lunch. We went to a small place round the corner called wonderful restaurant. The guy was alseep in his chair and very surprised to see a customer. His menu was different from the usual things we see as he had nepali and tibetan food on the menu. He showed us a picture of his teacher a tibetan guy - so we decided to try mo mo which he claimed is a tibetan ravioli. It was actually more like a thick dumpling that is stuffed with veggie and meat - but it was nice. I ordered tagliatelle on his recommendation that it was all fresh. By fresh he meant it still needed to be made from scratch - so it took an hour an a half for my food to come! I was already hungry when we arrived, so I was practically chewing the table leg at 3.30pm when my food finally came. The guy had seen that we were melting to death outside since he had no fan - but he was so busy cooking everything he didn't seem to think it was necessary to stop kneeding the dough for 1 minute in order to get the fan. I swear I lost a pound in sweat just waiting for my lunch. Finally just as we were finishing our food he thinks to get a fan from the back....better late than never as they say.

At 4.30 we got our bikes from the guesthouse and made our way to the temples. The bikes at the guesthouse are nowhere near as the ones we got from the tour place. After trying out a number of bikes Lesh ended up with a nice pink bike hahahah mine was pink too and Lesh named them pinky and plonky - his being plonky since there was something dodgy with his back tyre which made his wheel rattle?! They were terrible bikes and mine made me really appreciate Kit so much and I realised just how much I missed riding her. We had decided to go back to one of the big temples we saw yesterday...not to see the building again but to buy another painting! This one we re a lly wanted but the woman was a damn hard bargainer and so I had walked away. Even today when we went back to pay her final price from yesterday she had suddenly decided to raise it back up $5. I told her - what's the point of wasting 10 minutes of our time when you know I won't pay that price and when you know I came all the way back to pay what you were asking for yesterday??? Again I had to walk away and was cycling off when she came running up to say ok. Then as she was handing it over she asked me for perfume or lipstick or some else if I would give her the $5....she even wanted my hand woven bag from Laos but I told her to jigger off! I just laughed at her and pointed to my mullet of a hair do ad said "do I look like a lady that wears lipstick and perfume???" she got the message but still hustled a packet of chewing gum off me. I have never known such a hard bargainer before! With the painting firmly packed away we set off to some temples off the beaten track...that is, off any track what so ever. In a ride that reminded me of our very first day of Worldwind, we cycled down pure sand lanes and pushed some of the way through some poor farmers tilled field. I felt bad that we might be ruining his crop but we had totally lost the track and it seemed the only way to reach the temple.

Although we had chosen a temple way out in the middle of nowhere we were not alone for sunset :( there was a western man who was not very friendly and ignored me when I smiled and said hello...he was probably miffed we had arrived to spoil his secluded sunset...well ditto dude. He had some professional camera set up aimed at the sunset. But the clouds were out in force and it looked like we had braved the sandy roads for a not that great view. The guy packed up his gear and left with his guide in a car. That just left us in the middle of nowhere with pinky and plonky....great. I started to panic that we would be braving the sandy lanes in the pitch black and so we left too. We couldn't remember e xactly what time the sun went down and the clouds were also ominously black like it would throw it down any minute. We made our way down the temple steps and out to the bikes. As soon as we reached the front of the temple and where the sunset was we saw that the sky had turned bright pink and orange :( we had left 2 minutes too early. Now the gatekeeper was already locking the gates. I couldn't believe it. It loked so magnificent and we were missing it. We put our feet to the pedal and tried to make it back to a temple close by (ish) back the way we came. We cycled past the miserable photographer and cursed him for making us think the sunset was not going happen. We got to the other temple 5 minutes too late and the colours had already gone. We cycled back in the dark but at least on the paved road. I held a torch in my hand so I could try and avoid the major potholes.

We had wated to go for BBQ dinner tonight but by the time we got back we couldn't be bothered going out again. So instead we ordered a fried rice to take away from the restaurant across from the guesthouse. I have no idea how or why this restaurant stays open. He could not offer anything from the menu as they did not have any food in stock?! I can understand it though....with the electricity as dodgy as it is, you cannot keep meat in the fridge or freezer unless they run an expensive generator and who is going to do that when there are no customers? They didn't even stock any drinks? So we had t o go somewhere else for water. The guy must have thanked us 20 times for ordering one singular vegetable fried rice with an egg on top for $1.50...this is how bad things are for people in the tourist industry round here.

Back in the room I had miraculously found HBO on our tv that never usually has any channels avai l able! We ate fried rice and started watching a film until...the power went off :( not only was the film quite good but now we were sat in the sweltering heat. Even with th e windows open the room never gets a breeze. Outside is so much cooler but it is mosquito hell. We tried to play scrabble but I was feeling so uncomfortable with the heat. A cold shower was not even helping which depressed me. Lesh went off to find the football on somewhere with a generator since my whining was doing his head in. He came back 5 minutes later, when he found out that the whole town was pitch black and no one was running their generators. Luckily for us the power came on 15 minutes later and Lesh went off to watch the footie with the guesthouse guys. I went and had another shower (my 6th or 7th of the day I think) and went to sleep.

Even though it is already after midnight we have set the alarm for 4.15AM tomorrow. We have some vague notion that we will get up in time to cycle for sunrise...ha!

 

 
 
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