To Nong Kiaw

7 Jun

After some very determined negotiation, we managed to score a lift up the river again with a husband and wife making the journey anyway (although we still paid more than the local price – 80000 kip). Two stops for repairs to the narrow boat’s propeller, with much muttering and high pitched cater wailing from wifey as hubby stripped down to his wading y-fronts for mid-steam tinkering and tugging, and we knew we were in for a fun journey. But Blake set up his hammock arcoss the long length of the small timber contruction, and we settled down to enjoy no matter what.

From our water level perspective in the swift, shallow rapids, the thickly tangled karsts rose to ridiculous, monolithic heights, dwarfing the splashing, acrobatic children playing on dark sandy banks and few tiny fishing boats – more like canoes – poled through the river by solitary fisherman. Pale fracturing reaches of a few tall tree trunks stood out like lighting bolts again a dripping wet, thick clouded sky of jungle green.

Our arrival just as night was falling meant a scary scramble up the steep slope, and a hastily chosen, but perfect guesthouse, with a deck from which to drink cool Beer Lao and watch the dark masses of mountain disappear into night.

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