A highly enjoyable morning was spent route planning while sitting in our cosy guesthouse munching thai omlettes and smugly waving goodbye to backpackers heading out into torrential rain to endure a 3 day jungle trek. When the rain finally stopped and no lightening bolts had hit the courtyard for a 10 minute interval, we headed off for on a motorbike (sorry Rudy) to check out some bumpy dust roads connecting the nearby tribal villages. What would have been hell on a tandem (bumps/river crossings/no tarmac etc) was just so easy on a motorbike, leaving us to briefly fantasise about engineering a permanent swap. We decided against it ultimately; mainly on the grounds that we wouldnt be able to eat so much if we weren’t exercising all day, and also that our long suffering and slightly anxious parents would probably stage an intervention.
After a slightly off -piste trek/grade 3 rock climb up a waterfall , and a few Wats, we found a riverside restaurant to relax by over a long lunch. The place was deserted but things started looking up when we found that the restaurant had written and published its own very professional looking cookery book, and specialised in North Laos food. We had a feast of noodles, sticky rice, jeow (blackened chilli and aubergine paste), fish with ginger, and stirfried kale, just to make sure we throroughly tested it’s credentials. Exhausted from the carb overload and lack of activity, Andy promptly fell asleep on the restaurant table for an hour or so. The waiters looked completely untroubled by the sight of a farang gently snoring beside his sticky rice – totally normal behaviour for a country as laid back as Laos.