Sunday, 12 November 2017

Sun 12th November: Meikhtila – Kalaw

Today we were up at the crack of dawn again and rolling out at 6.30am sharp. We rode directly into the rising sun across the lowland plains - before the morning heat - as rural Myanmar woke up to a new day. 

After around 40km we reached our 6th Health Centre. On the way we had passed several major agricultural and construction projects including road-building and sugar processing and we really sensed we were in another industrious part of the country. Whilst the Health Centre building was closed to patients (as it was Sunday) we were kindly granted access for inspection by the caretaker. It was much older and more basic than anything we have seen to date, however it had a real sense of purpose in looking after its surrounding population.

Almost immediately after concluding our research visit the road ahead kicked up sharply as we headed up the mountain road and into the high plateau of the Southern Shan State, resplendent with lush bamboo and banana plantations and pine forests. We took a very challenging climb to the former hill station town of Kalaw - which was a summer retreat for the British colonnials seeking to escape the lowland heat. We are exhausted at the end of a long day but in very good spirits and ready for tomorrow.

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