Woke at 4am this morning to the bellowing call of prayer, from a speaker, perched for optimal arousal. Just as well – a busy day ahead and an opportunity to give the bike its first Burmese blast around the block.
Shit – one of the disc rotors badly bent. After a half hour’s attempt to unbend, I began on the hunt for a new one. Avoiding bike shops in the knowledge bicycles have yet to evolve beyond suicide shifters and woven baskets, I called a local adventure tour operator. The owner, an obliging NZ expat by the name of Steve had some in stock, located just 3km down the road. Thanks and numbers exchanged, I offered to meet that night for a beer or 2. But nature had something better in store. A rare blue red moon eclipse.
After text messages back and forth whilst exploring Mandalay hill and it’s surrounding temples, Steve offered to collect me from my hotel at 6 that evening, joined by his Burmese partner. We drove 10 miles to the top of Sagaging hill, overlooking the Irrawaddy river. A spectacular view.
After watching the moon reach almost total eclipse, we capped the night off with Seafood from Rakhine state. Being the last to leave the restaurant at just 8pm, it quickly became clear the Burmese are no night owls.