Started our ride in thick fog out through the town and along a good road with gentle ups and downs. Very little traffic. By mid morning the sun had burned through and we were treated to some beautiful scenery, forests of pine and grasslands. Passed through lots of farming villages, mainly timber framed houses on stilts, built by the Khmu. A glorious ride with fabulous scenery, enjoyed the climb up the hills to have the thrill of the downhill through the mountains. Simply stunning. Lunch at Ban Nam Chat, a popular stop for the local buses travelling from Ventiane up to the Plain of Jars.
Walked through a Khmu village, neat and tidy with lots of children running around. The village is perched on a steep hillside looking quite idyllic on this warm sunny day. Hard to imagine the mud streets in the rainy season.
We also saw lots of people having a shower in the village communal water pipe. An indication of how hard life is here. No one is fat. Most work the land as best they can. Astonishing to see pineapples planted on 45 degree slopes. Any tractor would fall over. No tractors anyway, except the odd cow. Water buffalo are for lower, flatter fields.
Loun treated us to a BBQ’d sweet potato in the market. Rather nice, but relieved he didn’t suggest a piece of unknown brown meat on the stall.
Great day. The evening meal was lovely.
Now back to cell block H to try and sleep. Our guesthouse is not the best. Yesterday’s was great and tomorrow is, ..er,.. another day! We travel with a positive approach to it all. It is all a rich, if itchy, experience. Jungle formula does not work for bed bugs, we have found out. Hey ho.