For our final full day in Myanmar we continued our theme of waking early, and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before our driver arrived to pick us up from the hotel. We were off to Mount Popa, a volcano located 1518 metres above sea level, with numerous Nat temples and relics perched on top. The “Nats” are spirits that are worshiped in Myanmar in conjunction with Buddhism, and there are 37 “Great Nats”, most of which were supposedly human beings who met violent deaths.

The journey from Bagan to Mount Popa takes around an hour, although our driver added in a couple of stops along the way.

The first stop was to a small reservoir, where we stayed for a few minutes and saw the locals collecting water.

To be honest the water seemed very dirty, and I wouldn’t like to drink from it, but he did say they run it through a filtration system a few times before using it. Still, I would recommend using caution if drinking the tap water, as with most countries in Asia!

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With only 3 days to go now (actually only 2 full days as I will be leaving early Friday morning) I definitely needed to make the most of my last weekend at home. A couple of weeks ago I decided to organise a little leaving party, and told my best friend Lucy about it. She lives in England, so she checked Ryanair flights and believe it or not booked them a few minutes later, for less than 40 Euros return! So this Saturday I drove to the airport (one thing I’m not going to miss – driving on snowy and icy roads!) and picked her up. In the evening a group of friends came round and we cooked Mexican food, and then all went out into town, where a whole load of other friends came and met us.
We had such a good night out and it was definitely a great way to say bye to all of my friends!

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The next day (surprisingly we weren’t as hungover as we were expecting to be!!) my mum drove us up to a place called Magdalensberg for a late lunch. There is an amazing restaurant/guesthouse on the top of this hill, which serves traditional Austrian food and is all family run. It was the perfect day to go up, as although it was pretty chilly the sun was out and there was a beautiful clear sky. 
As we were having our meal the sun was setting, we even went out between courses to take pictures of the sunset! 

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On Monday we decided to do some shopping! We wondered round the Christmas Market in my town, but it was too cold to stay outside for long. Both of us managed not to buy too much in the shops, I have been having to restrain myself from buying winter clothes by thinking about Dubai every time I see something I want!

In the evening one of my good friends from work arranged to go for drinks, and when we got there a whole group of others from work had come, which was a lovely surprise! They also got me a book called “1000 Places to see before you die” – I’m hoping my new job will help me do that!

Yesterday evening and this morning Lucy helped me sort out my clothes – 1 pile to take with me, 1 pile to give to charity and 1 pile to keep but not take with me. Somehow I have a feeling I’ll never wear the “keep but don’t take with me” pile again, but I can’t justify getting rid of over half of my wardrobe! I don’t even want to know how many pairs of shoes were thrown away!

This evening after taking Lucy back to the airport, I started on the packing. I honestly have no idea how I am going to fit everything in! I’m allowed 50kg, plus hand luggage. One of my suitcases is already over half full and pretty much all it has in is shoes and underwear! 
Here’s a picture of me squeezing into one of my suitcases!
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Well, this was quite a long post! The next time I write anything will probably be from Dubai! Only 2 full days left, when did this even happen! I’m so nervous and excited at the same time – it’s crazy!