Inle Lake

I have spent the last 3 days by Inle Lake. Day before yesterday I took a one-day boat trip for one around the lake. We set off at 8am when the mist was still rising off the water and visibility wasn’t so great, but the scene was spectacular. Like something from a Charlotte Bronte novel.

We took in lots of interesting stuff – a local market selling everything from jewellery and clothes to vegetables and oxen. Then it was off to a factory making clothes spun from the fibre inside lotus flower stalks – pretty amazing – where I bought a beautiful pink traditional Burmese skirt. I also saw silver being made and cigars being rolled elsewhere. I stopped for lunch at a restaurant on stilts over the lake. The sink outside the toilet was quite literally a steel sink unit hanging over the lake – the waste water just fell into the lake below. Funny. I also hoped to see some cats that have been taught to jump through hoops by monks at a monastry on the lake, but there was no feline action to be seen. Rumour was they were cat-napping (ahem…).

While at the monastry I bumped into Aussie Matthew and Dutch Arian who I had met and music’d with at the bar in Kalaw. We made plans for dinner and beers and I saw them later. We were joined by Becca from Canada, her German boyfriend Johannes and Michelle from Melbourne. A trans-continental dinner party.

The lake is stunning – it emerges out of the reeds and you are never clear where it starts or finishes. It reminded me a bit of Lake Titicaca (sp?) which sits between Peru and Bolivia which I visited back in 1997. Like its South American equivalent, it also boasts floating islands and a dreamy feeling.

I do wonder about my extreme love of being on or by the water. When my dad and I took a weekend away in Whitehaven earlier in the year to trace his roots, I realised that his family had sea-faring credentials going back generations. Can salt water run in your blood? Maybe there is some other explanation…

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