6th November – Savannakhet

8 Nov

We continued down route 13, with the temperature rising all the time … or is it just our imagination?! The scenery has changed along this route in so much that there are not so many well defined villages, just long strips of tiny shops, noodle bars and houses. We have also started to see some large wood processing plants. All with big hardwood logs being cut up for timber. There are still lots of untouched forest in Laos, lets hope that it stays there! We had talked about the contrast between Laos and Borneo a couple of times. The poor road system in Laos has slowed the logging, but it seems inevitable that it will gather pace. There is no palm oil here, that seems to be the activity that has led to the destruction of much of Borneo’s rainforest.

We decided to take a turning off the main road to see if we could find our way to some caves. The tourist sign was very old and faded and it turned out that the route was now a dead end. It was good to see that only a few hundred meters off the main road, villages were just as pretty as in the north, and the life was still rural. Just outside one village some water buffalo’s were having a bath … they loved it!

 

 

 

The water buffalo were trying to keep cool, it was now about 32 deg C and we were looking for shade as well!

 

 

It was starting to cool down when we made our way back to the main road and continued south to Savannkhet. We briefly took a look at the new Friendship bridge that gives access to Thailand and then headed back towards town. We needed to arrange visas if possible and we had read that it was possible here, and was quieter and easier than Vientiane. We hope so as otherwise will be stuck!

We stopped off at a guest house to see if we could park outside and sleep in the camper, but when shown the big rooms, with aircon and en suite for 7 pounds, we decided to have a room. The lady looking after the place spoke a little English and we needed to ask directions to the consulate building in town, so it was a good find. This is her and her baby.

 

 

When we cooked a curry in the evening by the camper, she came over with a big bowl of rice. She also gave us a Lao sticker for the side of the camper. Thank you!

On the way up to the room we saw a praying mantis …. at least judging by its front legs, I assume that’s what it is!

 

 

We enjoyed a nice cool night in the room, with the luxury of a shower …. simple pleasures!

 

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