Thankfully the night bus dropped us right outside Sea Sar guesthouse which was basic but pleasent and within our price range at just over $10 each a night. From first glance the town of Kyaiktiyo was much different to Kyaukme, not only were we back down south but the town itself is a lot more catered to tourists with souvenir shops and a large selection of Chinese restaurants.
After a quick breakfast of greasy curry and rice myself, Jaimie and Emily caught a pick-up truck to the top of Mt Kyaiktiyo where the famous golden rock supposedly balances by a string of hair from the cliff edge. The disappointment felt after my choice of breakfast continued. I was told I would have to wait a long time for the pick-up to fill up with people before we could depart. I wanted to get the truck heading half way to the top so I could hike the rest of the way as planned. This was unfortunate but it made sense to jump onto a full pick-up truck, as opposed to waiting for more people to join, which would have taken a while, it being one of the most popular pilgrimages in Myanmar it was unlikely that the people making the journey would want to arrive hot and sweaty.
My day got worse when the heavens opened as soon as we pulled out of the bus station, which is probably the worse thing to happen when you are squashed against a metal pole in the back of an open top pick-up truck with 50 Asians driving at full speed, over cobbled roads up a steep mountain and with absolutely no visibility in front. I was drenched and what made matters worse is that when I finally reached the top wrapped in a giant carrier bag cursing every step of the way, I couldn’t even see the sodding rock because of the fog.
After a warming bowl of chicken soup for dinner I went in search for cake to heighten my mood and improve the day but in the town of Kyaiktiyo there was absolutely no cake to be found and the only sweet substance is dried fruit jam – yelch! How could this be when the rest of Myanmar has cake galore even if it is the most chemically tasting sponge in a packet? I just had to accept that it was one of those days, which looking back at the minor annoyances that occurred just shows how lucky I am. Like the whole of our time in Myanmar, we were in bed before ten and on this occasion decided to end the night by watching a good old rom com on Jaimie’s ipad. Tomorrow was a new day and like always, I was terribly excited.