Building a highway by hand.

Nyuangshwe (Inle) – Kalaw = 58km (May 24)

A tough ride through the Mountains was on the cards today to get from 880m elevation back up to Kalaw at 1320m but reached heights of 1450m. Started off with a stunning 10km ride before we got to the main highway and hit the hills.

Then through the rural villages.

This was our first day of riding on a main highway in Myanmar and yes there were lots of trucks and traffic but so far we have found the drivers to be incredibly courteous and patient. They don’t seem to drive like lunatics unlike in Cambodia and Thailand where the roads often feel like race tracks. Maybe it is because in Myanmar their vehicles are older, incapable of reaching death defying speeds…? Instead we just get left with a parting shot of black exhaust smoke.

Plenty of roadworks taking place and watching them build sections of the highway all by hand was incredible. This guy below is running with a hand held container of hot tar. Meanwhile the ladies are getting the gravel and spreading it by hand.

So it was a dusty steep day but really enjoyable as Betty and Nancy spent some time rolling along the dirt on the side of the road.

We arrived in Kalaw at 12.15pm and was a nice familiar feeling rolling into our favourite restaurant for lunch then back to the same hotel and even same room. Yet again warmly welcomed by the same friendly staff.

Kalaw and Mt Biking surrounding villages = 21km (May 25)

Feeling great after our ride yesterday we thought we would explore the surrounding villages. With Kalaw being a mountainous region it is renowned as one of the best green tea growing regions in the country. Hence there are heaps of tea shops around and free tea served up at every restaurant.

Checking the bike version of maps me is sending us the right direction as we have a story for a rainy day where it didn’t!!!!!!

Our village boy that followed us wasn’t so sure we should be going this direction.

Steep terrain but amazing views.

Drying the tea and turning it. Lane way full of it outside drying.

Village kids surprised to see westerners on their doorstep as yep we got a little lost but pleased we did.

Climbed back out of the valley and on the rocky terrain coming down Betty broke her last drink bottle cage and Nancy broke her first! Insulation tape repair work required. Can’t believe how high brow Betty and Nancy are becoming visiting vineyards, tea shops/plantations and cafes in Myanmar.

To Cafe Kalaw which is a cute spot with a nice view and A great to way to finish our morning adventure ride in the Mountians. Rest day definitely required tomorrow for both Betty and Nancy and us.

4 thoughts on “Building a highway by hand.”

  1. Absolutely amazing pics and narrative from you two – we are just loving reading and seeing what you are up to! Thank you 🙏
    Ps: the Fulton Hogan and Tranzit NZ staff don’t know how lucky they are!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again great pics on your adventure. Amazing how much people can achieve with limited resources. Crusaders without 5 ABs injured or suspended(both props) had a very surprising win over the Hurricanes in a top of the table clash. Samis hockey team looking far too strong and Sophies team lost to St.Andrews so 2 wins from 4 games. Love to you both. Mum Dad Actually had to have a quiet word to St.Andrews coach about one of their girls deliberately shouldering our girls(one even fell over) out of the way—some things don’t change.


  3. How many k’s have you been riding for now, it must be pretty high by now. Cannot believe how they are building their roads by hand, over here you have loads of machinery doing the job & men standing around smoking, Quite a difference. Boy it is very hilly but lovely views, you will have so much to talk about when you get back home. Poor Betty & Nancy are starting to suffer a little though, no wonder with the k’s you have done. Take care, love Di & Reg xxx


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