To be able to stand at the river mouth was part of the dream come true. I have waited for the past few days to be able to start what I have came to Myanmar for. This was what I wish for – to start the exploration. My eyes were opened wide…every inch of the river..stream were meaningful and exciting!
7th May 2005
We negotiated for the price to bring us up the stream. I couldnt remember the price and I didn’t jot it down. But it was not cheap as the petrol price was high there.
While waiting for the boatman to get ready the boat etc..I learned a few new words…”Shwehlay” was another name for “Stream” and its also has the meaning of “Golden Boat”. Another word was “Dwaryarwaddy” which mean “4th Boat” was the Rakine name for “Thandwe”. Hence, Thandwe stream was known as “Shwehlay Dwaryarwaddy” in Rakhine. Now, it also make sense why the transport company was named as “Dwaryarwaddy Express” – “Thandwe Express” from Yangon.
The boatman fish for a living. They catch the wild river fishes and sell it to the exporters. I like the photo below…it captured the moment where the wife was helping the boatman to get ready for the trip. They knew the danger of each tirp out at the stream.
Above..Ling was trying to find out more about the stream condition from the local there. Behind them, was the fisherman village….living near the mouth of the stream.
Here we go….
Rear boatman..Mr. Maung Lay
Mr. Maung Zaw Zaw Aung..There were brothers…if I am not wrong.
View of the village from the boat!
We have set off in mid morning. The weather was good …but scorching…but again…I was mentally prepared for such weather.
As we proceeded up the stream…I was surprised that we need to push the boat in a few occasssions due to the low water level and the rocky bed. I thought it would be a smooth ride up the stream. This ..I wasnt prepared for.
At some locations..it was impossible to for us to sit in the boat but walked along the side of the stream while the boatman push the boat. The water level was not more than 2ft.
Along the way… saw a small padi field..
We tried throwing net along the way to check if we could catch the fish..snake skin arowana “accidentally”. But our effort was in vain. We have travelled up stream for at least 6 hours. we were exhausted. At 4.30pm, we decided to take a rest at one provisional shop along the stream. We want to wait for darkness to try netting fishes again as we believed that some fishes were easilier to net in the night.
Above…Mr. Maung Zaw Zaw Aung couldn’t wait to dip into the nice cool water after a hard day. Why I didn’t do that? If you can observe…infornt of the boat…the water colour indicated that the water depth was deep. This was the location where we would cast our net in the night.
This was the provision shop…situated up on the hill. There, they practise field buring.
Opposite the shop was a village
Beside me….the owner of the shop.
Interior of the shop and the outside the shop were….
Can you spot the cow? We purchased some ingredients from the shop and the guys were gathered to cook for the dinner.
This was my dinner…”fast to cook; good to eat”! I noticed the egg yolk was pale yellow colour…these eggs were collected from the shop owner’s chicken and they were fed with rice rather then the higher priced corn meal.
The owner at work….I was wondering what he was doing till i finally saw the end product of it as below..
Final product…a rope made out from the bark of the tree. They would sell it for money. The shop owner also sell bamboos which he collected from the plantation behind his shop. Their life were simple.
As the night drew near… we decided to take a rest before we begin to search for the arowana again.
We rested at the “balcony” of the shop. This was also the place where we slept for the night. The owner was kind to accept our request.
What would the night result be like? Would we be able to net something that will cut short the duration (agony) of this trip? I am exhausted. I wished we could find the fish as soon as possible.
1450hrs ..Sunday 17th March 2013