Trekking to The Hotel California….

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We decided as we had bottled out on the 3 day trek to Inle,( which apparently was really tough and it rained the whole time so I would of hated it! Phew) we should at least see what the Inle area has to offer, so we went for a half day trek instead. Our guide was lovely and spoke good English and he promised it wouldnt be too hard up hill in the crazy heat.

As we started to walk out of town a few stray dogs would approach us and I think our guide sensed my fear as I kept jumping behind him. I told him about my incident in Bagan ( broken record these days…) and he then proceeded to tell me about a woman who recently got mauled by a pack of dogs in the middle of the market street the other day at about 6.00am whilst riding a bike! She spent a week in hospital!!!
Great! I can’t believe he told me that story…I felt so much better…not! Turns out in Inle lake everything closes up about 8.30 to 9.00 and you don’t want to be out on the streets after 10.00pm as that’s when all those sleepy day time dogs wake up and rule the streets in packs! Sort of like my worst nightmare at the time.
The 4 days I was there, I was always back in the guest house way before 10.00pm.

Anyway, It was hard work trekking up, even if was cloudy, however we were rewarded when we arrived at a cave which was home to one solitary Monk. He had lived in this cave for 15 years- on his own! He was busying himself whilst we were there, brushing up around the cave, as his only companions – the bats…do like to leave a lot of mess on a daily basis!
As we were leaving he was relaxing and having a smoke.

We walked on gazing at the views over the lake the higher we went. We stopped by a plant and our guide snapped off a stalk, split it down the middle and blew into it creating a lovely stream of bubbles! We tried it ourselves…who knew hey!
We crossed into a village and some of the children ran up towards us, obviously recognising our guide and decided it would be funny to form a line across the path and by holding hands and try to block us getting through. They were so cute and I reckon all under 5 years old. I played some games with them, tag, chase, clapping hands and singing and they just beamed and giggled! Big smiling faces. They were all very dirty, no shoes and wearing mismatched clothes. Bless them, another humbling experience.
As we left they chased after us all the way down the path until we heard a mother call and then they turned and scurried away.

We passed through another village were all the locals were working together to clear up trees and tidy the paths. There was a striking set of bungalows with pretty thatched designs. I commented that these were set out in lanes and had fences and hedges- maybe even numbers too just like our roads and streets. Some of these houses are like antiques, so beautiful. Then our guide said “welcome to my house! We will have lunch here.”

The house was imaculate inside. Everything had its place and they had a tv and dvd player and beds on floor. He put on the eagles DVD for us. Even now as im writing this, Hotel California is ringing in my head! They had a massive transformer by the tv in order to get the power – so retro to us.

We ate a lunch of boiled noodles and egg – it’s a very popular dish in this Shan state!
After lunch he put on karaoke! The really old bad British and American songs with strangely modern yet tacky videos to go with them.
Earlier, along his road we had witnessed people singing and he thought they were good singers! Errrr ekkkk cats choir springs to mind…awful! Bit luckly he didn’t make me sing!
He told us he had a guitar so he is trying to learn the music to play himself. There were songs like ‘ we are sailing’ by Rod Stewart and una Paloma blanca…which Kristina seemed to know.
We walked back towards the town in the rain and saw a big tree had been blown down in the small storm that had took place whilst we were inside eating lunch. So we turned the corner instead and three men were yelping like babies as they had seen a snake and were trying to kill it by throwing rocks at it!

To relax after the mornings strenuous activity we decided to go for a Burmese massage…OMG! It was not relaxing for me. They walked on the back of my legs and stomped on my bum! God knows if it does any good but it was an experience. I did however sleep like a log that night…

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