Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bagan Bound: A New Dimension Of Crazy

How I managed to keep my jaded brain somehow alert those twenty-nine hours is beyond me... What challenged my mortal body and wit: a couple of sleepless flights (wee hours layover in between), a quickie Yangon city tour, and a looong van ride to Bagan with a two year old sans the hubby. Sure I was in the company of Luna-loving, travel bloggers-turned-friends, but there's nothing like having your partner around to demand help from.

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Luna asked "Bubba?" only once during our trip. In between the lines of her plea for milk.
 
March this year, after a bit of prodding from fellow Filipino travel bloggers, I decided to join them in a seven-day Myanmar backpacking trip. Because internet in the country's notoriously known for being hair-pulling slow, I had to leave to the world wide web-dependent hubby in the Philippines. And because I can be quite annoying when I'm distant from my daughter (I have the tendency/skill to insert "I miss Luna" in every sentence I deliver!), I brought her with me.

It's our longest and craziest journey without her bubba, thus far.
 
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Dong of EscapeIslands.com babysitting Luna, who spread her flash cards in front of the boarding gate counter at NAIA Terminal 2.

As foretold, Luna began serving as a human gym equipment (what Ron of  FlipTravels.com calls her) for Dong who chased her around NAIA Terminal 2 even before our motley crew checked in. Dong also babysat her at the boarding gate. Aboard the Kuala Lumpur bound flight though, when he was able to sit peacefully with the others away from us, Luna started bugging "Monster Marky" of NomadicExperiences.com who was seated by the aisle beside me.

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Window seat is Luna's seat.
  
Luna dozed off halfway into the flight after watching cartoons on her laptop. May seem awesome since I had some down time the rest of the plane ride, but you see, she slept through the whole hoopla of our arrival at Kuala Lumpur's Low Cost Carrier Terminal. Which meant me walking through the valley of the shadow of the brain-dead (that is the lengthy covered walkway to the terminal building where sleep-deprived travelers trudge on) with a sixteen-kilo baby doll in my arms. Thanks to Monster Marky's help, I didn't have to pull Luna's Hello Kitty carry-on stroller while doing so.

Marky's pretty cute with a Hello Kitty bag, he should travel more often with it.

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Luna sleeping on a bench in Kuala Lumpur's LCCT's Taste Of Asia branch.
 
We exited the arrivals hall around midnight and met up with Ron who flew from Singapore and Robbie of TheTravelingDork.com who was then on a month-long backpacking trip. Our group grew to a whopping number of nine. At Taste Of Asia, we saw passengers slumbering on chairs. The restaurant staff, who were probably too sluggish themselves, did not make any effort to shoo them away so that's where we camped until our early morn check in for the Yangon-bound flight.

It's fortunate that I found a spot where Luna could lay on. It's unfortunate however, that I had to stay awake to make sure she doesn't roll off it.

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"Lost in the Temple of Dum", Ron captioned this photo he took. Luna calls Dong, Dum.
 
Apart from seeing Luna's saddest face (ever) under the care of Marky and helping Robbie come up with cash to buy a pristine US$100 note (cause old ones are not accepted in Myanmar), everything else that transpired after checking in our second flight until our landing in Yangon is a blur to me. I believe I switched on autopilot mode the minute we stepped in the surprisingly modern Yangon International Airport. 

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Kaba Aye Pagoda, the first of many unplanned destinations. Photo by one of our travel mates Jerome of Balintataw.org

Hiring a van to take us all the way to Bagan was a unanimous decision — after some intense budget estimating. The "package" not only included a ride to the ancient city but also a short day trip around Yangon, plotted by a knowledgeable dictator guide we fondly called (behind his back) Moe Hitler. I was ecstatic that everyone agreed to this, because at that point, I knew I could easily pass out any second.

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Luna loves walking barefoot. At the time Ron took this photo at Kaba Aye Pagoda however, our guide was carrying Luna around.
 
Pushy he may be but our guide Moe voluntarily acted as Luna's nanny during our Kaba Aye Pagoda visit, during lunch, and during shopping . Ain't that a kind gesture? Or maybe he just didn't want her to slow down the pace of our military march tour? Whatever. At least I was given a few occasions to catch my breath, and to fully enjoy the company of my pals.

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 Out of the countless dishes served, she chose to have saluyot (jute) soup for lunch.

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The whole gang with Moe. From left: Dong, Monette, Ron, Moe, Me, Melo (Luna behind him), Jerome, Marky and Robbie.

Day one, I must say, went quite well even if it left me majorly bushed. Our plan of sleeping aboard the van (though I napped a bit on the van's floor for Luna took over my seat) to save on accommodation didn't happen because we reached New Bagan at one in the morning. Moe arranged the booking for us and we were more than thrilled to bunk in an airconditioned room.

Bagan Central Hotel marked the end of my twenty-nine-hour agony.

As early as the first day, I already learned my lesson: Backpacking with a two year-old at such pace without hubby is a kind of crazy I won't dive into again.


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20 comments:

Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com said...
May 14, 2013 at 10:25 AM

I don't know how you travel with a 2-year-old in tow if you're not with Sherv or with friends. Who carries your bags? Who chases after her? LOL With your baby doll though I doubt if you'll run out of people volunteering to babysit her!

Kaiz Belga said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:06 AM

BAAAAAAABY DOLL!!! <3

Carla A. said...
May 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM

i so envy luna! napapa-babysit niya lahat. effortless :)

markyramonego said...
May 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Baby doll Luna had a blast under my care. I was after Luna's Pancake meal dun sa Air Asia flight from KL to Yangon.

Gay Emami said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Hahaha! You shoulda finished it for her. She only had one.

Gay Emami said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Ahahaha! I do ALL that. And I don't think it'll happen often.

Gay Emami said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:17 PM

Bunsoooooo!

Gay Emami said...
May 14, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Yeah, and it's pretty cute to watch everyone's babysitting skills.

Elal Jane Lasola said...
May 15, 2013 at 1:32 PM

Ang cute talaga ni Luna. I hope I can baby-sit her too :D

Arjay | RjDExplorer said...
May 15, 2013 at 9:01 PM

I also want to meet Cute LUNA! :D

Ding | The Pinoy Explorer said...
May 15, 2013 at 10:14 PM

And Luna even has a red nail polish! Hehehe...Yeah I can feel for you. Brought my 1 year old son with me in Cebu eons ago--alone--- it was a lot of hassle, and I even had to change his diapers a minute before take off! LOL!

flipntravels said...
May 15, 2013 at 11:20 PM

I swear, and cute ni dong mag alaga ng bata! yung moment pag akyat ng temple ko na realized na ready na ko ipaglaban sya. LOL

Marj | layovertolife.com said...
May 16, 2013 at 12:14 AM

Luna is such a cutie! Feeling ko kahit ako magvovolunteer magbabysit para sa kanya. Hahaha

Nikka Corsino said...
May 16, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ang kyot kyot naman ni Luna!

Melo Villareal said...
May 20, 2013 at 10:40 PM

sobrang namiss ko si Luna hehe

Rain Campanilla said...
May 26, 2013 at 4:40 PM

kainggit tong trip na to. marky told me a week before, eh nka book na ung indochina. nextime, pa hitch :D

Gay Emami said...
May 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Yeah, sayang! And sayang we weren't able to meet up in Laos. Hope to travel with you someday, Rain.

Gay Emami said...
May 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

OMG, just read this. Hahahaha! Gow, ipaglaban si Papa Dom!

Rain Campanilla said...
June 4, 2013 at 5:43 PM

hope so too. i do not mind babysitting Luna! :D

Mirrandahh said...
September 28, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Asia is def better than Europe.

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