Saturday, April 29, 2006

A Wee Detour - Burma

Yes, after much brain-numbing whisky-aided first-night discussion on what to do with our few months in Asia, Dave and I found ourselves not heading to the south of India, nor to the north but instead to Burma (Myanmar).

This is the same Dave who I travelled with through South America for 3 and a half months. Known to others as Dingo, Dangerous, Trigger or other names he is informing me that he does not wish published.

To cut a long story short he arrived home after 6 months in the Americas and broke the revelation to GF and family that he was off again to India - and here he is. Judge for yourself whether it is a good idea that we are off for another 3 and a half months together - the before and after South America passport pictures should give you the answer!!

So we have spent 1 of the last 7 days with a farewell to the lovely Christina, 4 arranging visas/flights/trains by day and chilling out with crazily inspiring more than marginally hippy random music ensembles through the night (thanks especially to Ram whose amazing story I will not repeat here) and the last two on a train.

That said train took 38 hours from Delhi to Calcutta over two days in sweltering UP and was hot (at times significantly above 40 degrees), smelly, not helped by minor stomach issues (Indian train toilets are top-notch) but all in all not that bad. The countryside is beautiful as you gain sight of innumerable villages and people through the endless plains of UP up until the comparably shocking lushness of West Bengal. After 2 months in the hot, dry planes of north India I found a smile on my face on encountering such greenery. Even the people look decidedly different.

So hear we are in Calcutta, a city of over 13 million people, well publicised poverty, culture and much more. 2 short days before we fly to Burma on Monday. I just can not wait. Ever since I first heard backpacker tales of the wonderful experiences to be had in that country some 4 years back I have yearned to travel there. And there we go...
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