Wed 4 Feb 2015
Yesterday we bought our minibus tickets by pointing at the end of the peninsula on the tiny map in our Lonely Planet guide. We did not know the name of the place or what was there. A German guy told us that the beach was worth the trip.
The kombi-type vehicle was jammed with locals, luggage and Maja and I before we set off along the very broken road. We stopped a few times for food and to squeeze even more people into the van. Just when I thought that we were dangerously overloaded and could not possibly fit more passengers, that’s exactly what we did.
The locals are not accustomed to the motion of travel, which causes them to recall and display their previous meals. Fortunately, they were all given vomit bags before take-off. When the supply of bags was exhausted, they stuck there heads out of the window and spray painted the bus.
Five or six hours later we arrived in a village and could see the peninsula. Half of Asia began disembarking the bus, but our turn never came. We drove out of the village and to the end of the peninsula, where we found the Shin Maw pagoda. That was great, but where do we sleep? Maja found someone that understood our situation and he offered us a free ride to….somewhere. We jumped on the back of his truck and so did seven monks. They had a cooler box and gave us each an energy drink called M-150. It tasted like Red Bull, but stronger. Such a shame that we could not communicate.
The truck dropped us along a gravel road, with thick bush on one side and empty beach on the other. Except, on the beach were five bamboo huts. A man came out to greet us. I asked for a room and negotiated the price, as though we could go somewhere else. I tactfully beat him down from $25 to $23 per night. Very proud of my bargaining skills.
We are the only tourists here among a handful of locals. Not sure what the name of the area is yet. Our little hut is still under construction, but it is more than perfect. It is literally on the beach, in front of the water. Our beach is in a small bay facing south. Last night the moon was full and we walked along the sand with the ukulele. The only other person we saw was a local man carrying more bananas than he had teeth. He didn’t have many bananas. We greeted him and he started speaking to us in Burmese. The conversation was obviously going nowhere, so I played him a quick song, he smiled and we parted ways.
We have a mattress on the floor of our hut. Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean and the sea breeze between the leaves is super cliché, but amazing!