Another mooring alongside a “muddy bank” with huge tree roots as anchorages. Decidedly low-tech but effective and seemingly the “norm”. Another slightly larger (30+ cabins) German cruise ship sharing our muddy mooring this morning, took everyone somewhat by surprise. How dare they intrude on our river?? Fortunately they were heading downstream and we are heading up so hopefully the last that we see of them !!!
Three more villages with Markets, and the usual gold stuff and colonial remnants etc. Minhla has two reasonably well-preserved forts flanking the river. Built by the Italians on behalf of Royal Myanmar, in an attempt to keep the Brits out of Northern Myanmar. Clearly not very effective as the Brits with the help of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company’s fleet of ships (built in Scotland) soon sailed past during the 3rd Anglo Burmese War, seized Mandalay in 1885 and for the next 50 years or so ruled Myanmar in its entirety until the Japs appeared in WW2 and the IFC was forced to scuttle its entire fleet of 600 ships and barges as an “Act of Denial) to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese. Pandaw have managed to resurrect the brand with some of the original IFC ships and many new builds based on the original low-draft, teak and bronze, designs. Many horrendous bureaucratic and other obstacles had to be overcome (very well documented in The Pandaw Story by Paul Strachan (an extremely determined Scot) ) who restarted Pandaw and now runs his fleet of excellent ships throughout SE Asia and more recently on the Ganges and other Indian rivers. More of all that later. A selection of Photos (in no particular order) showing the markets and yes (afraid so) Stupas, Buddhas and Pagodas and the spectacular sunsets every evening.
A quick tour of the Ship’s working areas – Galley, “bridge” engine room etc. All very functional with a few omissions (GPS not commissioned yet !!, no depth finder so bamboo poles come in handy and all onboard navigations lights do not have light bulbs !! Otherwise “safe as houses” !!
The “galley’ has Immaculate kitchen and prep areas. Compact of course but they manage to produce amazing array of food 3 times a day !!