DAY 269: Crossing the Mekon
Well well welll…Im back again.
I decided to stay one more day on the Tai border, as the landscape I saw while riding the bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong was beautiful…valleys and valleys of cultivated land of infinite tones between green-yellow – brown and red and the sporadic trees, bamboo hut that the farmers use to rest in when the sun is to hot, and an incredible sunset, with the sun literally red.
I rented a manual motorbike, this time it didn’t have even the button to start it up, just the pedal…I think that for not knowing anything about motorbikes if we continue like this by the end of the trip I am going to learn even how to repair them 🙂
Somewhere a long the way I must have taken a different road because this one was full of holes, mud and dust, so much dust that every time a truck passed by it looked like the smoking rooms of the bars in Amsterdam :).
The fields where there any way so I could still leave the bike and start going around them…I saw a couple of farmers and went for them. People from the north of Thailand are really really good guys, so so nice…and those farmers where no exception, they posed for me and smiled all the time…I continued my way on the dusty road, until I saw a little road that turned towards the west. I followed it and found a nice place to chill out: It was one of those huts that I mentioned before, surrounded by trees at the east and the farm land at the west. So I squatted the place for around 5 hours…reading…siesta…butterfly hunting with my camera (this was the best, there are so many butterflies around…and they are so damn difficult to photo as they move so much: Imagine the pic: Jose with his camera running behind butterflies under the sun in the farm lands of North Thailand…)
This morning I crossed the border to Laos, the all mighty (and brown) Mekon…after the 20 minutes stop for visa arrangements, I was able to move on; instead of heading to the bus station or taking the boat trip down to Luang Prabang,which is the classic route for 99.99% of the backpackers that cross Laos from this place…I did what my heart was asking me to do… start walking on the main road alone and see what happens…
Now I am 200 km away North East, in a town called Luang Nam Tha (this is the place i was aiming to arrive!).
For the first couple of km a Laos man gave me a lift, in a prehistoric car which was all metal scrap and with the motor outside, I was loving it, this old man, me, all laos at my feet and going around with this flintstones car that didnt go faster than 10km hour and made a lot of noise bupbupbupbup when it went down hill BUPBUPBUPBUPBUPBUPBUPBUPBUP when we were going up…
After this he left me in a cross-road and….. The french saved the day! I met Juan and Natalie, who gave me a lift all the way to here with their caravan…and the trip was amazing…I thought that I had already seen a lot of jungle…ejem. Not at all. Laos is much more…mountains and mountains around us full of the densest forest I’ve ever seen, and at the sides of this horrible road, the laos people playing games, walking on their original skirts…little girls riding their bikes with shiny colored umbrellas, little kids throwing rocks to the cars passing buy, villages that looked like the one of asterix and obelix….the sad note would be the crashed bus we saw at the side of the road (I Dont know when it crushed but I am happy I didn’t take it)
I got the feeling I am going to love this place my friends…good night!