Here's our mob settled in for dinner at the Jumbo Guesthouse. There's two ring-ins (the guy on the left with the comb-over and glasses resting on his moustache and his son)... the rest of us, along with Monica were doing the clothing run.
I enjoyed dinners out there... nice and relaxed, although we did have one snake slide through and over my boots one night. A small one... just about the right size to decide that a boot is a nice place to curl up inside. I banged the boots out before putting them on after that.
Next morning, I did my usual walk through the markets. Amazing place. This is one of Phil's photos from our walk through... a squirrel and a civet. Sad. Monica saw a dead Slow Loris too, but it was gone when I went over for a look
There's always lots of bushmeat at the Hongsa market. This is a whole lineup of Drongos... the birds
Here we are, ready to go. We had a government official and an interpreter along for the ride.
I must've been taking dopey pills.... I ended up back in the line for the first half of the day.... chewing bulldust.
Some of it was serious bulldust... a layer several inches thick of very fine dust. I nearly went down in one section where it was dust over loose gravel... I had to slam a boot down, which of course just stretched all the tape on the boot. Not a lot of support left in those boots.
It was funny going up the road and seeing a lot of elephant tracks... then we caught the elephants
I quite like the shot Monica took
They lumbered off and we went on our way too
I came across this young woman with a load of wood and offered her a lift, which to my surprise, she accepted...
I gave her a lift about 5km into Ban Nam Tup village
This is how she was carrying the wood when I picked her up.
That wet (saturated) wood weighed at least as much as her. When she passed it up to me on the bike, it was a real struggle to get it lifted and then pass it around behind me. She sat on the rack. I'd have been knackered carrying it 100 metres... let alone the next 5km and however far she'd already carried it. Its a tough life.
Our little convoy
My new lenses didn't survive this trip either. That's two trips out of three into Laos that have done a pair of glasses in...
There was a motorcycle-only bridge on the way, but I followed the utes around it anyhow