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.
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.
Today I decided not to go on the first trip of the day. I know – a bit pathetic – but I really fancied lying on a sun lounger, reading a book. And I also spent some time thinking about my next book and wrote some notes.
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.
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.
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 …
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? …
As promised, just one month prior to launch of my next novel – here’s the cover! Within the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing the blurb and then the prologue just before launch. I hope you like the cover. I LOVE it!
Hi Everyone, Since Alexandra kindly updated this blog to let you know that I couldn’t post anything from Burma (Myanmar) I have since arrived home – so we’re going to pretend that I went two weeks later! The posts will start in a couple of days, and take you right through the trip. I do hope you enjoy. Alexandra’s message while I was away: This is Alexandra – Rachel’s assistant. Rachel asked me to apologise for the silence on the blog. There is no internet access on her trip. She is writing the blog daily, but can’t upload it, so is going to wait until she has a decent signal. Then the posts will begin. Sorry about this – Burma isn’t quite up to speed on the internet!
The first stage of my trip to Burma began today with a very unexciting flight from Manchester to London. Now’s the time to wonder whether I’ve actually done everything that I needed to for this trip. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before – especially on my own, so now I have lists to check and tablets to take!