Let us give you a break down each day of the 5 day trek and 2 day water rafting in Laung Prabang…..
we got into several different moving vehicles and meet our guides Mong and Mr.Jim. What wonderful men they were and they treated us so well along the trip. One hour later finally making it to where we begin. Hiking through many river, rice fields, mud, climbing up intense mountains and making trails that never really exist. Along the way we visited small villages to rest and played with cute puppies. After a long day of 6-7 km (5-6 miles) we finally made it to our village. Tessa, Amanda and Brian all doing fine, while Stephanie and I….well….were still alive.
Well to start off the morning hiking up a huge hill in the hot heat, and Stephanie and I barely making it up the hill. Counting down the number of hills we had to cross, other than that getting to our guides and their life stories. But along the way we came across LEECHES! First one to notice was me with the leech on my shoe. So we doused our legs and shoes with bug repillant because appreantly that wards of leeches BUT only if you don’t stop moving until you are out of the leech zone. So I’ve never seen Tessa and Amanda move so fast for an hour in my life and the rest of us trying to keep up. But I have to say we did walk out of that situation leech free with no blood bites. Around 4 p.m. we finally made it our village to rest and take baths in the cold river with the village people.
Sore, tired, exhausted and ready for a nice bed not the hard board ground – Stephanie & Alecc
Sick, sneezy but keeps on moving with no complaints – Brian
Feeling good, ready to hike more and have a lot of energy – Tessa & Amanda
So we found out that day four and five were going to be harder, and more up hill and downhill. And the last few days have been the easiest…..
With that all being said Stephanie, Brian and I all went back to Laung Prabang to rest and relax, and Tessa and Amanda kept going….
Amanda, Mong and I ( Tessa) woke up early and hopped on a little river boat to cross the river to begin our hike. The boat was horrifiying and rocky…and very unpleasant but short. We then began to test Mong’s trail knowledge by counting the number of rivers we crossed that day. The trail was exceptionally beautiful and very overgrown. Along the trek we passed many villagers our size or smaller and carrying massive bags of rice and on ther backs and heads. The looked very tired. Randomly Mong stopped and started digging at the side of the trail. We were very curious and he said he was digging up Lao potatoes. He found three for us to eat. They were white and watery tasting but very good! Also along the way, i was very obessed about the mushrooms growing along the trek and proceeded to ask him if each and every mushroom was poisonous or not. It paid off and we found some musrhooms we cooked for dinner that night. We arrive at the overnight village at 3pm and help make sticky rice and mushroom pumpkin soup and fried pumpkin. After dinner I taught Amanda, Mong, and the children of the village how to do the cha cha…and one of the little girls reciprocated the gesture and taught me some Lao club dances.
Day five was the more difficult day. It was and intense incline, and the path was almost invisible with large plants and grasses, which had sharp edges, growing over the path. It was an incredibly beautiful trek and for lunch we stopped at a village near the gold hill. Gold hill is where the villagers orginally discovered gold. There are still people mining and panning for gold there and many chinese helping as well. After lunch we contiuned upward for about another hour and then started on the “flat” ridge of the mountain. There we had found lots of mushrooms, but not without competition! Mong was wearing a red shirt and a cow had deleveloped an interest in him and began to charge us. Mong, the magician and madador saved us again and chaced away the cow three or four times! After the vicious down hill section Mong filled us up with sweets and we abruptly finished the trek at his “Moms” house. He was a man of many moms…She was a very sweet women and we helped her make this special sticky rice and covered with coconuts and sugar!
So Brian, Stephanie and I got onto a truck and drove an hour and an half through the dusty and bumpy road to the village where the rest of the group to meet up with them. Gathering everything we need such as our life jackets and helmets, we headed on down to the river to start our exciting raft journey. Along the way we hit small rapids, went swimming in the nice cold water to cool us down from the heat, and just having a great time. Finally after rafting for about 4-5 hours we made it to our village to rest for the night for the next day of rafting….
But that evening the family where we were staying did a prayer chant while putting on strings on our wrists and saying good luck prayers for the future. It truely was a touching experience and something that none of us will ever get the chance to experience again.
Our last day of adventure…It was a sad day because we had to say goodbye to our guides to whom we all came very close to. It was a good last day because we all played games on the raft and pulling eachother off the raft. Oh man did that get dangerous. Along the way we finally hit some fun rapids that made us work. The day came to an end to our trip, we made lots of memories, laughed a lot of laughs and challenged ourselves in various ways….
So far thats all thats happened….Will keep you all loved ones posted.
Peace, The Southeast Asia Group