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Published: November 10th 2017
Geo: 21.9759, 96.0842
For me (Darren) it was a day of mixed emotions as we headed towards the immigration post to exit India, for some unknown reason I have defended India's reputation as it being a great place to go. By exiting meant to me that it would probably be the very last time I would be there.. Why the last time I hear you say… well its complicated. I think the India of old held
some mystical magic that seems to have just gone now days… gone where I don't know its just gone.
However in saying the above we were extremely fortunate to have travelled most of India and Nepal with Sarah and Thomas. As a group we were able to travel a more adventurous route and camp away from the towns and cities in a relaxed fashion in our own company. Because we were self-sufficient we were less exposed to the chaos that is India all except the road network.
So to leave it felt like betrayal to Mother India entering Burma just seemed wrong, as we crossed the India Myanmar friendship bridge things immediately started to look cleaner, brighter, nicer!
The process started, yep all we had to do was stand
around as a group at different buildings and places and talk to each other, sign some papers when they arrived and it was very easy… follow the guide's vehicle and into town… change money, get lunch drive to the hotel…. AND HAD A HOT RUNNING WATER SHOWER….. dam how freaken good was that.
Day 2 (Monywa)
Breakfast and an early start on the road for a big day heading toward Monywa 320km's away. We had to travel the long way because of the recent flood damage to the shorter route was apparently very bad. So we set off at 8:00am and arrived at Monywa just after 6:00pm in the dark.
The day was fantastic relatively easy driving the road was not particularly fast nor damaged and weaved nicely through the mountain ranges.. the best part was there were no dam Indians on it!!! The worst part is it was clear a hell of a lot of logging had been happening for a long time.
At our hotel we did run into a Burmese chap who was very articulate on his views on the logging, apparently when the British were here they actually replanted more trees than the removed. However since that time wholesale
logging took place with no replanting except for Teak Trees which on their own are not good for the ecology but are valuable. Even large forests of Australian Eucalypts had been planted to supply the Chinese paper mills, ironically the Eucalypts are very water hungry and have dropped the water table somewhat which is not so good for the native species.
Day 3 Mandalay
Relatively short day of driving today, had a buffet breakfast and then a late start on the road.
When on a guided tour it tends to be fast, the lead car is off and you have to keep up, so the day was spent driving at speeds between 80 and 100 km/hr which is dam fast compared to the
indian norm of 50km/hr.
Day 4 Real tourists
Relaxing day being driven around Mandalay in a mini bus doing sight seeing.
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