Monday 30th August 2010
At 6.30 a.m. our Fast Boat transferred the keen types to the shore for a closer look at Bhamo's Market. Just after 7.30 a.m we boarded a convoy of improbable passenger trucks. They take a Japanese pick-up and weld a framework to give them a very tall tilt cover and fit rows of seats across the frame so as to keep the normal load space with passenger seats pitched high up.
Most of us had difficulty getting into the high seats and, bearing in mind the atrocious roads, it was a very uncomfortable ride. I was at the front and found I could stand on a plank fitted across the sides of the pickup, backside resting against the front edge of the seat and hands, when free, grasping the front of the framework.
Unfortunately, hands were rarely free. Apart from trying to take photographs from the bucking truck, the people here see very few foreigners (the three 'Road to Mandalay' trips a year is about it) so everybody was keen to smile and wave and we were keen to reciprocate.
More when I can ...