My first day on Lao territory

The trip has been perfect so far.  When travelling alone, you get to meet so many people, the one more interesting than the other, each of them travelling with a different purpose, different goals and different dreams.

It was pouring down when I arrived in Laos .  Crowds of people, lots of tourists, money exchanging.and then I bumped into Anthony, a nice French guy I had breakfast with.  He gave me some tips and shared experiences, as he was crossing the border, out of Laos .

I checked into his guesthouse with no was too late for a truck or boat to wherever. 

Unexpectedly stranded it became an unusual day.

Walked around for a bit, away from the backpackers and guesthouses, and on a deserted little road I took a break to take in the scenery.  Up there in the middle of nowhere, there was suddenly a guy with a backpack approaching me.  The usual small talk turned into an entire day in each other's company.  We simply clicked and time passed by unnoticed.

Jack had been ripped of by the speedboat mafia and was determined not to return to Huay Xai, the border village I had come from.   So we strolled around for a while, looking for a local "ban" (village).  The Lao people we met were actually surprised to see a "falang" (stranger) but we did a great job getting acquainted despite of the huge language barrier.  Jack played the harmonica with the ever so sweet Lao kids, who all followed us wherever we went.  We had a Lao beer and a blast. shared peanuts with the shy adorable was the best!

Jumping around and doing summersaults in the sand. the joy. the simplicity.

On the way to the guesthouse we ended up in some kind of brothel were 2 men and 2 women were getting drunk with local whisky, cracking weird food and a guitar;..the situation was totally hilarious with us two ending up singing along.

Then suddenly it was pitch dark and with a lot of luck and sliding in mud that had become almost invisible by then, we found a tuktuk and managed to get back to the village.

We shared a plate of fried rice and talked through the night and the morning-after we each went our way, with a "maybe I'll see you on the slowboat, maybe I'll see you in Luang Prabang in 2 days' time".

Cause that is the way it goes.  Nice people come and go and then, each time again, you hope to meet fellow travellers who are "just as nice". Though at times you welcome some solitude.

I decided to take the slowboat to Luang Prabang after having seen too many skidding trucks on what should have been the best part of the road with on top of that this sweet guesthouse lady who told me that "the road was 70% dangerous".

Jack got ripped off again, but I think he eventually got out of town. 

By then I had bumped into Heidi, 22 years old, German and on the road for two years.she's got guts, that girl.

We've been on the boat together for 1,5 days now.  Yesterday was long and cold but the views were sensational.  We spent the night in Pakbeng in a very basic guesthouse, had dinner and breakfast with two Swedish guys and are now back on the boat.

Sun is out for the first time today and after lunch I will have reached Luang Prabang were I will most likely join Jack again.  And after that.I don't know.and that's the best of all!

I'm slowly letting go of my "being organised" and am ever more having fun.  Two nights ago, I ripped up the "diarrhoea and malaria guidelines" I had carefully prepared in case of need. 

I'm letting go, I'm relaxing, I'm enjoying!

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