1. KarKar

    Our second day was spent riding bicycles around the various temples and getting in a few views of the larger temples we had missed the previous evening. Within seconds of our  arrival at the first temple on our list, our friend from the day before, KarKar, was parking his bicycle right next to ours. Whether his arrival was by coincidence or fate we know not, but his addition to our party was doubtlessly welcomed. 

    Absent his soccer ball from the day before, but as full of energy as the day before, KarKar was immediately attached to us for the remainder of the day. He quickly became our impromptu tour guide and local celebrity at all the temples and at the restaurant we visited for lunch. 

    He demonstrated no reservations or self-consciousness with us or anyone else through the day. He was an All-American-like kid growing up in Myanmar. Neither teasing from older girls or the polite chastising from adults phased him along our journey. If anything, he took no notice of other’s comments or questions as to how he teamed up with us.

    With our our new companion in tow, we slowly made our rounds of the various temples and stupas along back ground two-tracks and secondary roads amidst the arid scrubland of Bagan. If the 90+ dry heat or the ill fitted bicycles we rented weren’t enough of a hinderance, the sandy and unkempt roads posed the largest obstacles to our adventure. 

    On several occasions we found ourselves utterly perplexed with the sandy quagmire of these two-track roads. With each temple visit we found the majority of our energy zapped more so with the paths then the actual heat. 

    After a tasty vegetarian lunch and playing Uno with KarKar, we said our goodbyes and setoff to the lacquer village of Myinkaba to checkout the various pieces for purchase. If the first place was any indication to the quality we have to choose from, then there’s a lot of really talented craftspeople in this little village.