Monkey Temple

Before the motorbike, there was the bicycle.  Bike and Rice Fields

In order to enjoy this mode of transportation one had to rise early in the morning and return by mid-day or your body would most certainly be extracted of all liquids via, I swear, osmosis. One lovely early morning, with fluffy clouds drifting above, three explorers donned our water bottles and cameras, found bicycles with decent brakes and peddled ourselves out into old Myanmar. After five minutes of city-bound peddling, we escaped into the lush green of the paddy-fields and tree-lined roads.  It was glorious.  The sun’s rays were at a delicious angle making all appear surreal and rather 1950’s.

Road Early Morning 2

We peddled for about an hour.  Paddy fields, oxen and Braham bulls, water cannals, monks, kids…

Road to Monkey Temple w channel

Kids going to school

The mountains loomed in front of us and the excitement rose, as sure as the sun above us.

Shan Mountains

We soon reached the old monastery at the base of the mountains.  The monks were wonderfully happy, especially when we told them we were from America.  Thank you President Obama! (He recently visited Myanmar).  They were chanting O-BAMA, O-BAMA with big smiles on their faces.

Monks at Monkey Temple copySoon they had us, de-shoed and climbing the very steep stone steps up to the top.  There were many shrines along the way on rock out-croppings.

Buddhist shrineAnd really unique Buddhist sculptures…

Monkey Temple ArtWe reached the top and had a beautiful view into the valley.

Mandalay ValleyThere were monkeys everywhere.  Macaque-type.  A bit mean.  But the monks loved them.

Monk Feeding MonkeysThe shape of the Pagoda tops changes drastically from one to another.  I thought the juxtaposition of gold leaf and wood carving was lovely on this one.

Pagoda top The trip home filled me up again with wonderful images of rural life.

Brahma BullsBasket ManAnother great morning out exploring.

I hope your week is full of adventure and lots of good sites.

Gretchen

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