Funnybones and Lazylegs

Trip Start Jun 12, 2011
Trip End Oct 22, 2012

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, July 1, 2011

We arrived in Luang Proban in jovial spirits and headed to guesthouse alley with a bunch of new friends we made on the slow boat and the girls from the Gibbon Experience.  I love Luang Probang, its a sleepy french colonial town littered with sparkly gold temples and not a lot to do other than soak up the atmosphere, drink fruit shakes, Beer Laos and eat delicious food.  Due to the french influence you can get french style baguettes on most street corners with all sorts of fillings.  You can also get fresh spring rolls stuffed with mint and coriander and spicy papaya salad made fresh and to your own taste all for pennies. 

So once we checked into a guesthouse we all headed out to the local food market for a bite to eat and then headed off towards the bars for a nightcap.  Alas, en route to the bars we had to walk down a dark street by the river and an awful thing happened.  We were crossing the road, Will before me, who then turned to avoid a passing motorbike and stepped where the pavement should have been and where Jono, who was behind Will, was about to stand.  Unfortunately though the pavement ended a couple of inches before where Will trod and so he fell with the brick edge of the drain having an unfortunate connection with his shin.  I took one look and knew it needed stitches, which made my heart sink as Laos is the 9th poorest country in the world and I didn't hold much faith in their medical care.  It took one consultant and around 7 nurses to put 3 stitches in Will's leg,with no pain relief on offer at all!  The hospital was basic but clean enough and we were in and out within half an our and the whole procedure including the antibiotics etc only cost the equivalent of 12!  I'm pleased to say that it is now ten days later and the wound didn't get infected and is healing fine.

All this meant that we stopped in Luang Probang for a week being very lazy surfing the web, watching 24 on the laptop and socialising with our new kiwi friends.  We've learnt that in NZ flip flops are jangles, trousers are pants, they reckon their weet-bix are better than weetabix (we'll see!) and everything is 'kick-ass'. ;-) We did manage a trip up the hill to look at the view from the temple up there.  Unfortunately we couldn't go to the waterfalls nearby as Will had to keep his wound dry but apparently it was completely flooded and the bridges washed away .... due to the torrential rains that fell when we were at the Gibbon Experience, and so we didnt miss much.

We heard that the road to Van Vieng (usually a 6 hour journey) took some people 24 hours recently again due to the rains and so it was a good thing we couldn't move on for a few days.  The girls headed off a few days later and it took them 16 hours as they had to wait on the side of the road for several land slides to be cleared.  By the time we made the journey we were only delayed by 45 mins while they cleared one landslide off the road.  The scenery on that stretch of road is breathtaking and the pictures do not do it justice.  And so we made our way onwards to Van Vieng.
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