The celebration dinner began with an hour long sunset cruise… well, a half hour standing in the sun waiting for our boat to get aligned properly so we could board, followed by a cruise around the Erawati (or is it Irrawaddy?) River.
We were told we would have the smaller, more intimate boat and it was the VIP boat. That turned out to mean Visually Impaired Pilot. More on that in a moment. On the plus side, there was an open-ish bar, with complimentary beer, jetfuel style pre-mixed cocktails, and a small selection of fully loaded soda pop. Although supposedly we could buy wine and hard liquor, that was apparently only on the OTHER boat. They also didn’t have water but, hey-ho, that’s how these things go.
The “surprise” of the night was that the celebration dinner was going to be held on an island/sand bar out in the river. The larger boat docked without incident but we needed to adjust or turn around and the skipper took us too far back… only to get us stuck in the seabed. The guy literally ran us aground… and not close to the island, a good quarter kilometer away. Flashbacks to my flight to Uluru that got turned back to Sydney fifteen minutes before landing hit hard.
Ultimately, they had to dispatch another of their boats to come and help free us from the riverbed… and then because our boat’s propeller was apparently damaged, it had to tug us into the dinner. We arrived I suppose fashionably late… if thirty minutes late is still considered fashionable.
Note: I didn’t get very good shots of the tug but here it is alongside us. I was a bit discombobulated, having struck my head on a low ceiling on the ship’s bow.
But before that I was able to get a few shots of us heading to the dinner… and away from the dinner… and back toward the dinner once more.
The dinner itself was a typically swank affair, a buffet on the beach under the stars. Unfortunately, there were still more hiccups to come with the audio and video system but, again, we’re in the middle of a river in Myanmar so, ya know, we make do.
I’m writing this rather quickly as some folks I’ve been traveling with actually read the blog and I’d like to get this up so they can grab a few of these photos at their leisure. Gotta give the people what they want now and again. It can’t always be to amuse myself.
And FYI to those folks — click on the photo below and it’ll open in a new window at full size resolution so you can save that to your hard drive.
Here then are some photos of the wonderful Albatros Adventure travelers I’ve spent the past few days with here in Myanmar:
Now I would be remiss not to discuss the entertainment. There was a Myanmar Cover Band that played an eclectic, amazing string of songs.
And this woman, for a time the only one on the dance floor, was twerking to it. I couldn’t bring myself to frame it in its entirety. But she was super into the band.
And maybe so was I. They were perhaps my only regret for leaving the party on the early boat (albeit at least 75% of the folks joined me, resulting us having to swap over to the bigger boat for the voyage back to the buses). I would love to know what was on the rest of their set list. To go from a country and western medley to Creedence Clearwater Revival to some synth pop tune I couldn’t place to Madonna and the Beatles and then to… well, This video doesn’t do it justice… but it does do something. THIS is something.
There’s more to be said, about logistics and snafus and whatnot. But hey, Kevin, leave them comments alone. All in all, it’s just uh, um… well…
Hey, look — they had pyrotechnics! Not the cover band; Albatros.
I’m off to bed. The shuttle to the airport to begin my long day’s journey into night into day into night into day for flying back is coming much too quickly.
Good night, Bagan.