Day 13 Mae Sot to Muse Son

A Hugh statue of Buddha, a Pagoda and a Tribute Monument high on the hillside
The morning drive began by tracing the Moei River north. This river is a natural and political border between Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand (Siam). For the last 30 years the banks on the Thai side of the river has been home to 30,000 Burmese refugees under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They are mostly ethnically Karen people, an oppressed minority in Myanmar. These people are not the Rohinaye People who are Muslims, and who now find themselves as refugees in Bangladesh. Either way it is not easy to be a refugee and there does not appear to be a solution in the near or middle term. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, is becoming a disappointment for those who saw her as a liberal humanist. She either sees no value in helping and protecting these poor refugees or her power is being curtailed by others in the power-sharing triumvirate that is Myanmar politics.

A lot of transit driving this morning to get to our lunch spot, the Coriander, a lunch on the banks of another river; the Pad Thai noodles with beef was terrific.

The Car and the Rally:

Our car has been performing well, but attrition is beginning to set in for others. Both of the other Porsches have had minor, but annoying problems. One lost its clutch pedal and the other has had an ignition failure. The non-Porsches have had even more serious issues.....engine seizure, clogged fuel lines, valve cover problem. In all, we can't forget that these are 50-70 year old cars......and hence, what could go wrong?

The Organizer's mechanics (called Sweeps because they follow behind the last car out of the starting line) are truly magicians, fixing almost everything.

The one Speed Stage we had today was short (4 km) and fast. We had the 6th best time and we were pleased with our performance. After today's results, we remain in 9th place....and all competitors ahead of us have significant larger engines.


We had to stop in order to let Water Buffalo cross the road 

We saw a small herd of Water Buffalo cross the road -- beautiful, big animals that have become beasts of burden. Other competitors saw working elephants and have sent along a photo, which I will post with this blog.

Lots of row crops, some animal husbandry and large stands of corn everywhere.

As we move north, we see more monks with their orange robes. I've seen boys as young as 9-10 who have committed their lives to a monastic way of life. In many cases they leave the safety of the monastery after a 10-year term.
Working Elephant in Thailand (photo taken
by another competitor, unfortunately)