After our great stay off-road days and home stay we reached our river destination where we had to put our bikes on a couple of boats. fortunately the little Hondas are very light so 4 guys could lift them into the boat, not that it was easy but it was certainly doable. Two bikes per boat and off we went through the water canals to the like and across to a floating hotel. Wow this place was stunning my dream accommodation, a little bungalow on the water. I wish I could find a place like this in Malaysia to relax in for a few days before I head back to Europe. Although I know there are places like this in Malaysia they cost an arm and a leg, ah well I made the most of my time in this floating hotel.
Back on the bikes and off to see more countryside and wow we were surely not disappointed. Winding our way through the hills up to 1600m over narrow but well kept tar road with breathtaking views and drops, so no mistakes and there are no helicopters here to come rescue you. This was the longest day at 280km but winding our way on these roads took hours. I cannot believe how long it can take to get from A to B in SE Asia, but don’t get me wrong I am not complaining I am enjoying every minute of it, and half the time was taken up by stopping for pictures.
Eric spotted a group of people with an elephant in one of the villages, and although he knew there are elephants in Myanmar he had never seen one. So we pulled into the village to take a look. This beautiful bull elephant, a working elephant had an abscess on its side and the vet was there operating on it. We could not believe how calm this huge animal was patiently standing for his mahout while the vet worked on his side and dug out handfuls of puss. It looked very painful. The mahout was sitting on his neck stroking his big head and talking to him, and another guy was feeding him some mushy stuff which he seemed to like. On the odd occasion he would raise his back leg and push the vet and assist aside obviously in pain, but still so gentle. An amazing thing to see and I managed to have a brief chat to the vet, a Burmese gentleman who had studied in Thailand and the UK. He told me there were around 50 working elephants in that area. This was the only one we got to see.