2015-01-15 13.01.39

The Burma Experience – Day Nine

Today was a funny day, really. It was our last day on the boat, and so I decided to spend the morning trying to pack. The problem I have is that I have a 20 Kg limit on an internal flight to Lake Inle, and I have at least double that! I’m just hoping they charge me money rather than throw me off the plane! The international flights are far more generous, but it’s just these two internal flights that had me worried, so I thought I should do a bit of creative packing while the other trippers went to explore the local town. We leave the boat in the morning at 8 am, and our cases have to be outside our bedroom doors by 6 am. One thing about this trip, there’s no option to laze around in bed! The latest that breakfast is EVER served is 7 –

2015-01-14 09.25.21

The Burma Experience – Day Eight

I was particularly looking forward to today, because I was told we were going into the jungle, and I thought it would give me a very real feel of the places that my dad must have visited. However, disappointingly it wasn’t the jungle at all. It was a fairly sparse forest with quite a lot of monkeys! If it hadn’t been for the disappointment of the jungle, which is apparently much further north, it would have been a good day. Although we had quite a long coach ride, we visited a place high up in the hills where niches have been carved in the rocks, and every niche contains some kind of Buddha (I have more photos of Buddhas than you would believe possible). It was quite extraordinary, because the Buddhas were actually carved out of the rock too – not just built externally and then added into the niches.

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The Burma Experience – Day Seven

Today we visited another village, alongside the river. Here, the local people make clay pots. All their materials are free – they gather clay from the river and mix it with sand from the river bank. This forms the basis of their pots.

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The Burma Experience – Day Six

This has been my favourite day up to now, in spite of having to get up at 5 am! Not the best time of the day for me, it has to be said. The reason for the early rise was a sunrise balloon trip over the wonderful Bagan area – an area with over 2000 pagodas and it is truly extraordinary. We arrived at the launch site at about 6 am, and were served coffee and croissants while we had our safety briefing. To my surprise there were several balloons. The company we were with had six, and there were two other companies. We were the green balloons, and there were eight of us per basket.

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The Burma Experience – Day Five

Today was the BIG DAY – the day that we visited Bagan, one of the major sites of Myanmar. Bagan has over 2000 pagodas, many of them dating back to the 11th century, and the vast majority are stupas, not temples. If you remember from an earlier post, a stupa is a solid building that you can’t go inside. A temple is a pagoda that you can enter.

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The Burma Experience – Day Three

Today we went on some trishaws – a bike attached to a kind of sidecar with a seat. As I mentioned before, it has to be said that the seats have been designed for very skinny Burmese bottoms, and not European (or Australian) rears. I watched the people in front of me, and could see their difficulty – but we all made it safely to the pagoda that was the central attraction to the trip.

Children smiled and waved wherever we went.

The Burma Experience – Day Two

The second day of the tour was interesting for so many reasons. We set off from the boat in the morning, travelling on horse and cart – two people to a cart. The travel company likes to use local transport, but the seats are made for rather smaller Burmese bottoms on the whole. I didn’t even take a photo when we went out on a trishaw – too many bits of overflowing flesh for the most part! But it was quite a sight seeing twenty five horse and carts trot off with British and Australian (more Aussies than Brits) hanging on for dear life.

The Irrawaddy Explorer

The Burma Experience – Day One

Today was the first day of my exciting trip up the Irrawaddy River in Burma – or more accurately the Ayeyarwady River in Myanmar (pronounced Mee-an-mar, and not My-an-mar as I had always assumed). We had spent the night of our arrival at a Sheraton hotel in Yangon – the largest city in Myanmar and previous known as Rangoon. I also believed it to be the capital, but that was wrong too! It used to be, until the military government officially relocated the capital to Naypjidaw in 2006, much of the city being built from scratch and at considerable expense. This appeared to be a bone of contention with our guide, understandably considering the way in which most of the people of the country appear to live. What we hadn’t been warned about was that the trip from Yangon to Prome, where we were to board our ship, was a

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Stranger Child – what’s it all about?

So, last week we had the cover reveal – and now we have the blurb reveal. Don’t forget – it’s out on 24th February! STRANGER CHILD – BY RACHEL ABBOTT One dark secret. One act of revenge. When Emma Joseph met her husband David, he was a man shattered by grief. His first wife had been killed outright when her car veered off the road. Just as tragically, their six-year-old daughter mysteriously vanished from the scene of the accident. Now, six years later, Emma believes the painful years are behind them. She and David have built a new life together and have a beautiful baby son, Ollie. Then a stranger walks into their lives, and their world tilts on its axis. Emma¹s life no longer feels secure. What really happened to David¹s family all those years ago? And why does she feel so frightened for herself and for her baby?