Having pedaled 60,000-plus miles through dozens of countries throughout the world, there were plenty of reasons to skip cycling in Burma/Myanmar:
• Although the country had made steps toward opening up to the outside world, travelers still were required to stay in registered hotels.
• Human Rights Watch reported limited political change and ongoing abuses.
Why even bother?
But years of travel had taught us to rely on our gut feelings and the observations and experiences of others.
Fellow trusted travelers told us Burma (Myanmar) was a land of vibrant colors and cultures — a travel experience like no other on the planet — a journey through a country so welcoming that the collective embrace of the people of Burma could not be described, only experienced.
Burma wasn’t easy. We struggled to find ways to travel outside the tourist norm:
We pedaled along roads so rough that only “riding a jack hammer” describes the experience.
It only took a day on the road to understand what other travelers were raving about. Cycling in Myanmar was like pedaling along an unending parade route … and we were the parade. Everyone greeted us along the road: children, grandparents, bus drivers and ox-cart drivers, goat herders, policemen, monks and soldiers.
And it wasn’t the “just in passing” greeting I’m used to as a traveler. It was a heart-felt, engaged greeting that made us smile from our souls.
After just one day of travel, we felt as if we had soaked up a month’s worth of sights and experiences. Other travelers had warned us that Burma was an intense assault on your senses. And they were right.
After 28 days in Burma, we would have been satisfied to head back home, but it was time for another adventure — this one along the mighty Mekong River.
He shares a birthday with President Obama but rarely shares dessert.
Shows start at 7 p.m. in the Sequim High School cafeteria, 601 N. Sequim Ave. The cafeteria benches are hard and people should bring their own cushions. Suggested donation is $5 for adults. Attendees 18 and younger are welcome for free. One selected photo enlargement is given away each week as a door prize.
Call Dave Shreffler at 683-1734 for more information.