It’s currently 9.18pm and we have anchored the RV Yandabo near a sandbank on the Irrawaddy river somewhere between Mandalay and Bagan. Outside it’s pitch black, the moon is almost full, a fisherman has lit a small fire on the riverbank and from a village nearby we hear burmese music. The whole athmosphere is just beautiful for its simplicity.
The day started at 6.30pm and we embarked in Mandalay around 9am. We were a bit anxious having the three boys for 24h on a boat, but our ‘fears’ were not justified. First, we realized that we were the only guests on the Yandabo so that the 13 men crew took extra care of Diego and Enzo…showed them around, played with them throughout the day and watched out for them. Additionally, we brought live-jackets for all the boys from Switzerland and thus felt quite comfortable. For Rino we even constructed a kind of ‘Rino-chain’ to be super-sure that he did not fall overboard.
The rest of the day just trickled away as we left bustling Mandalay and passed the peaceful shores of the Irrawaddy. We witnessed countless scenes of the daily life of burmese fishermen, villagers and crossed many larger ships transporting mainly timber and coal up and down the Irrawaddy. The scenery outside Mandalay is just beautiful and at the same time you can witness the very basic lifestyle of the people on the countryside.
In the afternoon we stopped at a village that is fully dedicated to clay-pottery. We were shown around the whole village and could see how the pottery is actually made. At the same time we had a glimpse of how village life looks like in Myanmar. We were again deeply impressed by the friendliness of the people. And obviously the boys seemed to be again an attraction and Rino is getting used to be touched and carried around by many different people wherever we are.
After leaving the village and floating a bit downstream we ended at the sandbank, where we got out our ball and had a little soccer game with the crew… lots of fun! After that we got spoiled with a delicious dinner (so was the lunch) and now (22pm) everybody is asleep and Alex and I are enjoying the sounds of the Irrawaddy. When planning this we thought of it as a highlight of our trip – it truly is.