Saturday, February 21: After I meet up with my driver, we begin the long drive back to Bagan. Along the way, we pass this shrine, a kind of deserted amusement park, that offers some nice views of Mount Popa.
My driver waits by the car as I wander around taking pictures. Not another soul is here, so it feels as if I have this whole exotic world to myself.
I’m glad to get some views of Mount Popa as I’m leaving it behind, although I’m sadly facing into the sun for pictures.
I don’t stay here long as my driver is waiting. We drive some distance and stop briefly in this town where I end up buying some strawberries and an orange soda. I am thirsty and my throat is dry from all the dust, so the orange soda is a welcome relief. It’s about 1:20 in the afternoon and it will likely be another hour before we get to Bagan. I’m hungry for lunch really, but I don’t see any restaurants and I’d really like to eat someplace in New Bagan before going out to explore on this, my last day in Bagan.
As we’re driving back, we see these ladies carrying bundles of sticks along the road. I stop to take pictures, giving them some money for allowing me to take their photos.
By the time we arrive back in New Bagan, it’s about 2:15. As soon as I arrive at my hotel, I rent an e-bike from the front desk and take off to explore the last bits of this ancient place that I’ve come to love.