There was an engine though!
After a pretty rough bus journey to Laos everyone was in higher spirits the next morning after a decent enough night’s sleep. We were planning to travel down River from our location in Muang Khua to Nong Khieu by boat, so we headed off to the boat dock led by our glorious dictator Ethan Cheuk. In hopes not to get ripped off again we sent Mr McMillan and Cliff to scare the dodgy boatman, which in fairness worked.
The boat we would be spending 5 hours on were a bit of a shock to us all, they were about 1 metre wide and 15 metres long, made of aging bamboo and wood, powered by a pretty tired engine. Our seats were planks along the side of the boat and the driver was perched at the front on a plastic chair. All 19 of us along with a couple from Denmark just about squeezed in and we were off. Although it got increasingly uncomfortable on those splintered wooden planks, the view most definitely made up for it, as we passed stunning mountains covered in dense forests off trees accompanied with the occasional traditional wooden hut and the occasional group of local kids.
Near the 3 hour mark we stopped for lunch at a quiet little village at the riverside and finally had our first taste of western food in far too long, no one could stomach more rice at this point. After waiting what felt like 2 years we got our food and then set off on our second leg of the journey. After another 45 minutes we arrived in Nong Khieu, a much more modern and touristy village than the previous and just generally better in every way, which wasn’t very hard to be honest. We crossed over to the other side of the river on a huge concrete bridge under the shadow of a huge magnificent mountain making for a pretty decent view. Arriving at our booked accommodation named Bamboo Paradise it was evident it wasn’t much off a Paradise but it would do rightly as it was better than the previous night. After sorting various plans for the morning, we went for dinner which we had to wait literally 3 hours for, then settled down to bed for some much needed rest. End.
I hope my Mum and Dad are having a great time in Cuba getting some much needed rest. Despite enjoying myself here I miss you both a lot and can’t wait to tell you all that’s happened here. I didn’t find a battery for the camera but plenty of pictures will be uploaded by our leaders and group. See you both in 10 days. And you better be bringing me something back from Cuba J