Leaving Tathon was pretty straight forward – of course we tried to wait off the morning rain without much success and gave up on that at half past ten. At least riding was fast. But wet and uneventful – at first.
In hope for food we stopped at something that looked like a small restaurant – after playing charade we were understood and let down the mudroad along another dirt road to a hut with a very deep hanging leaf-roof. The village restaurants – which served each of us first a very yummy, vegetarian soup and then one with chicken.
Even though we had two servings, we weren’t full. So after 50kof cycling we wanted to take a rest, look at the pictures and eat. We were starving. Exactly 50k after Thaton you are climbing a hill, roadwork being done and no village, no bamboo hut in sight… Luckely at km 53 there are a couple of roadside places – that differ from the ones we’ve seen so far in terms of furnishing and set-up. No plastic chairs and not these big teakwood-chairs but rattan chairs that probably are comfy if you are not 1.85m tall and trying to nap in them. Next to us, three guys, probably in their early 20s, got drunk on rum with a little bit of water. I got a bit edgy as you never know how drunk people behave but they were fine, just having after-work-fun.
We biked on to Kyaihtiyo where we decided on turning off the road for 14km to Kinpun where we would get on a ‘bus’ the next day to see one of Myanmars highlights. The Golden Rock Pagoda.
But – I promised an elephant, didn’t I? There they were – coming our way. Between all this trucks and cars and motorcycles… An elephant with his keeper. They crossed the road and I dare say we stared at each other with mutual astonishment.