Have you ever made such a really stupid mistake while travelling that you couldn’t help but kick yourself and think how you could have possibly done it? I made such a mistake during mythe end of the last video, although if had careening off the bridge and lost my bike and maybe more into the Patthein River, then it would have qualified. But I did make it over that bridge. Twice.
See, about half an hour past that bridge, I realized something: I wasn’t wearing my backpack. I had misplaced my luggage. At first, I was baffled. What could have happened to it? Surely I didn’t leave it at the tea shop where I’d stopped an hour ago for coffee. But where else? After some bewilderment, I came to accept that was exactly what had happened. Turn around. Back over the terrible bridge (with more confidence this time) and then drive as fast as I possibly could back to the town near my starting point where I must have left my backpack. That pack had most of my money in it, my computer and passport. If I had lost it, I’d be screwed.
At the same time, I recognized what Myanmar people are like. In much of SE Asia, if a tourist left a backpack with all those treasures (a US Passport alone is worth $5000 on the black market) in it at a restaurant, there would be some doubt that it’d still be there two hours later. Myanmar people are very honest. Crime here is at a lower level than all but a few places in the world. Still, given what was at risk, I was still shitting bricks and driving like a madman to get back to that tea shop. Of course, it was there.
|I've never hauled bamboo on a motorbike, but I'd think |
there has to be a better way to balance the load.
That said, I had still added two hours of what was supposed to be a 5 hour motorcycle ride. On the way back, I looked closer at the map. I praised Google maps in the last video, and then had to cross that bridge, which Google had called a highway bridge. Just a few miles south of that bridge, there was another bridge. You’ll see the difference in the video.
On the long haul up to Pyay, the highway ran along the eastern edge of the Rakhine Mountains. I’d heard the road was beautiful. I’d kinda doubted that as I was expecting just a bunch of rice paddies. I was delightfully surprised.
Another anecdote you’ll see in the video is how I got helped when I got a flat tire. Such helpful people, and the thought of exploiting the tourist was the furthest thing from their minds.
Enjoy the video.