Some experiences are, shall we say, trying ones.


Many of them are travel related. Yesterday was one of those.


One of the true measures of a country’s development is the ease of transportation within it. For example, Japan has bullet trains that help its citizens cover hundreds of miles in just a few hours. In the US, we have perhaps the best airline industry in the world.


By contrast, getting around Tanzania or Rwanda means lots of time on narrow, potholed roads. But they felt like a superhighway compared to Myanmar yesterday.


The trip from Pindaya to Yangon is 390 miles.   That is just 50 miles longer than the drive from Midland to San Antonio. OK, my fellow Texans, how long do you think that drive would take you? If you average 65 MPH, you would spend 6 hours driving. You would stop for gas and a bite to eat. Lets call it a 7 hour drive.


Our consultant told us to expect 8 hours. 


Our journey would take us 16 hours.


Yes, you heard that correctly. We left at 8:30 and arrived after midnight.


We hired a couple of drivers and a van to take us south to Yangon. During the course of this journey, we would enjoy the following travel bonuses:

  • A driver that seemed opposed to driving above 40 MPH.
  • A minor collision.
  • A lunch where the locals became absolutely convinced that Susie was a movie star.
  • A security checkpoint that took all our passports (temporarily).
  • Passing roughly 300 ox-driven carts.
  • Passing hundreds of other vehicles.
  • Being passed by even more vehicles (remember, our driver was slow).
  • A stop to water our tires and brakes (descending from the mountains heated them so much that they steamed when watered).
  • A cab switch around midnight.


That last item was the coup de grace. We had driven with the same two guys for over 15 hours and they then explained to us that they “did not like driving in Yangon” and had hired two cabs to get us the last 20 minutes. As a result, we stood at the side of the road for 20 minutes waiting for our rides. When they finally joined us, we moved all our possessions to the new cabs and finally arrived at our hotel.


I am not sure what that maximum amount of time a family of six can spend in a van before their spirit breaks. I, however, know it is a number lower than 16 hours.


We are now in Yangon and look forward to a couple of days here before we head to Singapore.


Meanwhile, I will enjoy being married to a movie star!


Steve Sir