In writing this from a Burmese winery high in the hills anove Lake Inle. The Burma rose is particularly good…….
So of course I did what most tourists do here. Hired a fisherman from the local Intha tribe to ferry me around Lake Inle
KuTu had no English to speak of but he took me to all the spots.
Silversmiths. Blacksmiths. A silk and lotus fabric factory (I didn’t know you could make cloth from the fibres of a lotus stem..4000 for one scarf)
A local cigarette “factory” where three women were making roll ups containing tobacco, honey, herbs tamarind and brown sugar.
I had to try one, not to be rude.
…..hang on isn’t brown sugar slang for….? Oops
All these places were in small workshops in houses built on stilts over the lake
At the moment they are real businesses but in time I suspect they’ll just be tourist locations.
All for show
A monastery on the lake where the monks have trained cats to leap through hoops for little rewards. Cats seemed pretty happy when I was there although i didnt watch the show im told and if they dont fancy being feline basketballs they just go to sleep.
At one point Kutu demonstrated that peculiar way of rowing the fishermen have here.
They stand at the end of the narrow boat with a long paddle dipped in the water
They wrap their leg ,snake like, around the paddle and -making circles in the water – power the boat forwards
But it was when we took a side creek towards an isolated village that he really showed his skill
The creek went through a series of small weirs , ranging from about a foot to three feet in height
The centre of the weir was marked by tree trunks just wide enough to allow a narrow boat through with inches to spare on each side.
With an oath of ” you are kidding me…” from a frightened passenger convinced we were about to ram the trunks, KuTu made it through every time
He didnt even slow down
I turned round to see him sporting the biggest smile I’ve seen yet in Burma.
And that’s saying something