Myanmar JungleThe Myanmar Jungle
Throphobic jungle pushes us from all sides on the slimy way. Most of them were fractured, crushed and half eaten by the jungle, others were new. Half an hours later we arrive at the convent on the hill, the biggest in Kayin State, and can top up our tanks while talking to some kind people.
Tempting views into the whirling fog below give insights into forested mountain ridge and the stupa peak. Each larger cliff seems to carry a convent, and even the smallest ones are dominated by gold Stupas. The best of all we have is that very few travellers make it to this part of Myanmar, and although that is likely to improve, I am very happy to be here.
Its estuary is filled with tens of Buddha pictures and sculptures. A thousand of mice are singing above us as we go deep into the hearts of the caves. I squirt agitatedly through a small creek, hatch onto a bunch of cat shit and dip into a small pit in the biggest stalagmit I have ever seen.
As I want to creep down a row of small galleries, I see the glowing faces of several cobwebs holding onto the damp cliffs. After that we spent another hours to explore the beautiful lime stone cliffs and follow a row of beautiful splashing creeks. Finally we arrive at the other side of the cavern - the lights are dazzling and the entry is partly clad with a thick rug of rainforest.
It is a breathtaking, calm sea, hiding in a shell of rugged, jungle-covered crests. Rocky spires sometimes penetrate the leafy rug that suffocates the mountain and reminds me of dormant mice. Outside the pond, supplied by the brook from the cavern, a solid, knobbly plant with nice reddish blossoms is growing.
A lonely fisher walks resolutely in the far away through juicy rice paddies. The entrance to the caves behind me smiles jaggishly over his mirror image in the sea. On the next morning we went with a native leader, Momo, who speaks decent English and was the city' s priest.
In a few moments we had gone from the Shrine of the city and were deeply in the city. Among them were females with whirling thanakahs on their cheekbones and heavier willow cages on their beds. Sometimes we saw no signs of humans for long periods, and then an insulated cabin or even a small group of houses rose from the fog that stretched over the rolling mountains.
Fabulous creatures woven with clan icons and fluid text covering his limbs, breast and even parts of his face. People in the mountains did not speak English, but they were always glad to see us. We stopped every few and a half hour throughout the whole afternoon to enjoy tasty freshly brewed leafy teas and to eat one cup after another with steamed sausages.
They lived with a native familiy and although they didn't speak English and had no bed, they boiled us a party with roasted browned rice, greens, spinach and spices, cloves of garden cloves and young sprouts of banana. All over Myanmar, everyone smokes sheroots, from withered grandmothers to crazy motorcycle taxis.
When we drove further into the mountains, a group of kids followed us again and again "bye bye! This seemed to be the only English they knew, and they were resolved to use it! During our last overnight trek we remained in a small cloister on a rocker.
We were surrounded by an insects band as we followed a rugged country lane and continued into the jungle. To my lefthand side the trail completely vanished and the dense jungle fog darkened a precipitous chasm hiding uncharted gorges, falls and small hut shelters.