The highway on the way there didn’t have signs screaming ‘This Way To East Tijuana’, or tequila-swigging donkeys swaggering to a latin beat. It didn’t even have dodgy looking Gringos wearing inappropriate headgear … oh no, wait, it did have those.
The days passed.
Adam got hurled off a zipwire from an enormous height, did an impressive back-flip, and obtained two black eyes and a possibly fractured nose for his efforts. He resembled Snuffalupagus for days.
We visited an enormous cave with incredibly crystal formations. We rode there on the back of a rotivator. The driver stopped at the petrol station, and we got fuel from a beer-tap, into a water bottle.
Luang Prabang is a very well-preserved UNESCO heritage site. It is full of French colonial architecture, and Wifi cafes. Some say the French colonialists did very little for Laos during their rule. In fact, some suggest the only thing they did was build big mansions and eat baguettes. (OK, not the baguettes bit, that was me).
We were woo’d, wearily. We wandered about the temples in a daze.
We left Luang Prabang when we realized we couldn’t afford breakfast.
The plan was to head to the south, away from the tourist areas, via a visit to a waterfall that happened to be on the way. It was all going well. We’d left Luang Prabang and the expensive breakfasts behind, and were making good time.
The waterfall was enormous, and incredibly beautiful, in a self-conscious sort of way. It knew it was that good, and was strutting.
We whizzed along, daydreaming about milking Chinese bear poachers and enjoying the ride.
At half two the cogs in my brain began whirring and I turned to see a detached bungie cord bouncing along behind the bike.
Several minutes later I realized what that meant, and we screeched to a halt.
The bag containing both of our passports had fallen off the back of the bike.
We feverishly hunted for the stuff along vast tracts of road. We retrieved the waterproof rucksack cover we kept the pan set in. That was it.
We had lost two passports, a wallet with $30, a USB pen drive, all my make-up, and our pan set and mugs.
A good days work, and all thanks to my non-vicious bungie attachment method.
I believe that morning I may also have been heard to mutter something along the lines of: ‘Don’t tie it down too tight or the mosquito cream will explode like last time.’ before taking it off Adam, who no doubt was doing a perfectly adequate job. Frankly in hindsight exploded mosquito cream would have been a far more amusing mess.
So our trip to South Laos won‘t happen, as we instead spend a week in Vientiane trying to sort out the ridiculous faff involved in trying to leave Laos, in order to then go to Bangkok to procure new passports. The price of the passports also means after Thailand we will no longer be able to afford to visit Cambodia and Vietnam, and will have to head straight down to Malaysia. It will cost us 350 pounds.
Ho, and indeed, Hum.
And with that the latest saga of our ever-more-ridiculous trip is told, and I leave you to sit in a dark room, flogging myself. Goodbye.