1/2/2009 – Inle Lake to Mandalay
I spent the morning enjoying the peace and tranquility that Inle Lake naturally brings. I sat on the balcony of the Gypsy Inn writing in my journal and reading my book. Often I let my mind wander and my eyes drift up to towards the scenery.
We checked out of the guesthouse and once again were treated to more complimentary refreshments from the owners. The owners` wife brought out some freshly made tasty snacks which we wolfed down as we said our goodbyes and climbed into the rust-bucket taxi for the long, bumpy, scary ride through the mountains to Heho airport. I felt a bit uneasy with the drive so I used my new trick of listening to my ipod and drifting to off to somewhere else, blocking from my mind the sheer drops from the road on which we were driving too fast on.
The short flight brought us to Mandalay airport where we met an Australian couple called Adam and Arianne keen to share a taxi into town with us. Mandalay airport is inconveniently 45km away from the city and the fare is not cheap when you are on limited funds in a country.
We checked in to the Royal Guesthouse as recommended by Lonely Planet and agreed to meet Adam and Arianne for dinner. The guesthouse was nice enough and I spent an hour or so finishing the Motorcycle Diaries and started my next book, the Tropic of Capricorn.
We received a call at reception from our Aussie friends and headed to Too Too restaurant to meet them. Along the way we came across a French guy we saw in the airport and invited him along for dinner as well. The road to the restaurant was quite dark but with little traffic and eventually we found the place under a green light and it occurred to us that all the eating places were indicated so.
Too Too restaurant was a local place filled with only Burmese people. It was lit with fluorescent lighting above plastic table and chairs. The food was at the back of the room where you could choose one meat curry and they served it at your table with a huge selection of vegetable side dishes and as much rice as you could eat. I had the mutton curry and it was fantastic, although some of the veggie dishes were questionable.
Afterwards we stopped at a beer station, but it only served beer and as I am also trying to watch the pennies I didn`t drink. I enjoyed chatting to Arianne as the boys drank beer but after a while it got annoying so I got a trishaw back to the hotel.