We travelled today for 200km to Bagan, the extraordinary home of 10000 Pagodas, of which over 2000 still stand. It was a magnificent drive through changing landscapes, crossing the 4km bridge over the Irrawaddy to lunch on the river bank. I passed Alastair Caldwell and his Mum Dorothy, ag 96 and still navigating. Probably a once in a rallying lifetime experience!
After lunch we did a magnificent regularity on dust tracks through the Pagodas. A brilliant test which we though we had nailed. Julian navigated perfectly, not an easy task at all with cars getting lost all over the place. I drove on the spot of the allotted speed. 50 yards from he end the two Dutch cars, who weren't competing, were sitting in the track blocking us and we picked up penalty points. I haven't seen Julian so cross before. He's getting the competitive rallying bug.
Sadly Gerd broke his car today, bending the valves by over revving it, so they are out of the rally. They were doing so well, nailing each regularity and deserving their first place. Sadly also,is that Roger and Maggie Allen did better on the regularity and have pipped us for second place, so we remain in third overall, first in our class.
We arrived at our very comfortable hotel, a nice swim and then a 20 minute drive to our boats to go for drinks on the river bank. Rum sours and nibbles on an Irrawaddy sandbank as the sun goes down. Just brilliants. One rum sour and everyone was having a great time.
Supper with Xavier, Iness, Michael, Simone and Julian celebrating Simones birthday tomorrow. That's the third birthday on the rally.
We get up at 5am tomorrow to take a balloon ride over Bagan as the sun comes up. It should be an extraordinary sight. Michael hates heights sothat should. Be net resting. The only person onboard who wears a parachute is the pilot, slightly worrying.
Then we are playing the Bagan Classic, the same four ball as before but this time we will take more balls and even more caddies.
Lots to report later.
Important email news just arrived. I have passed my Diss Prep essay so the MA remains on course.
Lots of love to all
Sir Harcourt Butler
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