Tim Wiseman, BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment Scheme Manager, completes his journey cycling 500 miles around Myanmar undertaking healthcare building research and raising money for Article25!
Tuesday 14th November – Jumpers make their first appearance!
After a cold night, where our jumpers made a rare appearance, we set off downhill to another health centre where we conducted interviews with the staff on their experiences of working within building. We also met with a local man who had recently returned from Yangon where he had been learning English. He was able to give us some background information in to the health centre and the village. After another 15km cycle through two neighbouring villages, both called Pekon, we had an early lunch at the south end of Inle Lake surrounded by beautiful scenery.
A long coach ride led us to another rural health centre. This one was the most rural yet, driving through very narrow, bumpy roads in beautiful countryside and crossing a small wooden bridge which didn’t look like it could take the weight of the coach, but thankfully it did! The health centre was very well kept and the staff very friendly and keen to assist with our research.
After meeting an elephant by a reservoir, we headed to Loikaw to check into our hotel and visit a temple. The temple is built into the rock high above Loikaw with stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside and mountains. We watched the sunset and headed back to the hotel.
Wednesday 15th November – Rainwater recycling
We only cycled until 10am today, but it was in very heavy rain. By the end we were all soaked to the skin. During the ride, Kyel Sin and I found ourselves momentarily separated from the group, but thanks to some helpful directions from a local man we were soon able to find our way and catch up with the group.
After quickly changing out of our soaking wet gear at Pekon, we transferred over to small boats of 4 people, which took us the length of Inle Lake, stopping at many craft centres on the way. We also passed by villages on stilts which were on the river. The view of the lake with mountains on each side was absolutely stunning.
Thursday 16th November- A small ride to the finish!
Today started with a more relaxed feel to it as we set off an hour later than usual at 7.30am. A short ride up some undulating hills led us to the finish of our journey! A speech was given by our tour guide, and gifts were given to our local tour guide San Ju, mechanic, Mr Neing and truck driver, Mr Lim! Each of the cyclist also received certificates to mark the journey we had undertaken.
What an achievement from all of us, with a total of 550km cycled!
In the afternoon we took an internal flight back to Yangon to have time to reflect on what we achieved. Especially the 10 health centres we visited, 3 more than what we had planned! This was all thanks to our guide San Ju who located many centres on our route.
I will post my final blog next week to reflect on this trip. Good bye for now and thanks for your support!