In the Spring of 2007 my
good friend Barbara decided to join her good friend Raine on a trip to
Tibet and Bhutan. This was not a good time to be planning such a
trip as demonstrations on Everest in support of Tibetan autonomy caused a
clamp down on independent travel. With the Beijing Olympics
looming it was a sensitive time for the Chinese authorities who once again
were only issuing permits to organized tour groups. Not wanting to
get to Chengdu in September and find it impossible to proceed to Tibet
they booked a tour through a Canadian agency who in turned used a Nepalese
tour company to put together an itinerary for two with a car and guide.
Meanwhile I had committed go
to Myanmar in December to teach English to disadvantaged children at a little school on the outskirts of Yangon.
Before Yangon the plan was to wander around Laos and Cambodia for a month
or two. I had been to all three countries and was confident about
being alone there.
Barbara asked if I could
time my departure with the end of her trip with Raine so she could come to
Laos and Cambodia with me. She didn't know anyone else who
wanted to go to either country, didn't want to travel alone nor miss an
opportunity which may not present itself again. Eventually I
saw the light. Once Barbara had been to Tibet and Bhutan, I
wouldn't know anyone who wanted to go there with me! And so our
excellent Asian Adventure was conceived.
An uprising of monks in
Yangon almost de-railed my time in Myanmar but it all came together in the