Tun Tun suggested that we might like to gate crash a wedding reception that morning on our way to Saigaing and Ava. Stopped at an outdoor reception where a friend of his in the travel business was getting married. Burmese wedding etiquette is quite simple. You tell your neighbors 7 doors each side that you’re getting married and then you are. You have party and then at noon you’re husband and wife, assuming the dowry has been paid. One of the lovely things was the food. I was expecting symbolic Burmese food but the menu was like a kid’s birthday party in Balham but given the Burmese fondness for sweet things this shouldn’t have been a surprise. Ice cream and jelly and lots and lots of cakes, some of which were iced with sprinkles. The bride and groom were beautifully dressed in traditional clothes and were clearly exhausted by glad handing the hundreds of relatives who turned up (all bearing presents or cash) Then onto Saigaing Hill for a view of the hundreds of monasteries that dot the landscape and a drink. Elly headed back not feeling too well and I carried on with Tun Tun. First to the ferry to cross over to Ava, an island in the Ayeyarwaddy and the home of an ancient capital of Burma. The ferry takes 5 minutes on a lovely old open boat with a couple of wrinkled sailors in charge. You either stand up with the locals or sit on the floor. Standing was a lot more fun. In Ava picked up a horse and cart both of which had seen better days. However, they were nothing compared to the roads. Imagine sitting in an airport luggage trolley going over cobbles for 2 hours and you get the idea. I know some people pay good money for buttock reduction but I felt I had dislodged a kidney. Ava is very picturesque as much for the temples as for a glimpses of rural Burma. Basic farming but very beautiful watching the ox carts work the land and people growing beans in fields filled with ancient stupas. Then back to soak my bruised bottom in a long hot bath and for dinner went to the Green Elephant in town via a Blue Taxi which was so old and broken I was amazed we didn’t have to hitch. Great food at even better prices.