Wednesday 12 April
Kratie to Paske Lao
Another long and very hot day on the road. We start at 8.00am and shamroack continues to do us proud. By travelling over numerous pot holes and dirt roads we managed to cut off 250kms. Towards the Lao border the roads were just dirt and couldn’t be called a highway at all. As we drove along you can hear the loud chorus of the cicadas through our open car windows as we drive along. Once again we played chicken with more cows, calves and chickens. We even saw a few large pigs hogtied to the back of motor bikes. We passed many old trucks packed to overflowing with furniture and gifts and people – everyone was going home for Songran – New Year. The Lao border crossing was very quick and efficient, the offices were quite regal looking.
Paske is on the banks of the Mekong and quite an exotic looking town, where we could watch a magnificent sunset from our room. We are finding it difficult to write our blog daily because we get in so late to our destination and leave early. We have a team meeting between 6 or 7.00pm then dinner and time for bed.
Thursday 13 April
Beginning of Songran
Paske to Thakhek Lao on the Mekong
Leaving Paske we were leaders for the day and again our drive is taking us further into to Lao to Vientienne. We are following the course of the Mekong. As we drove we could see the preparations for the Water Festival and the family get to gethers, music blaring everywhere and children were gathering by the side of the road with their supersoakers and buckets of water, ready to throw it at everyone who passed by either on bikes, trucks or cars. We even got a soaking!. Lots of fun! This time we have been avoiding not only wayward cows, chickens and dogs but we now have goats and there have been hundreds. It started to rain in the afternoon as we drove into Thakhek but it has cleared and we can see the rugged mountains in the distance. Tomorrow is Songran for the next few days and we are off to another city which will be wonderful. The celebrations have started with VERY loud music and people splashing water and covering themselves with coloured pastes.