I sit down to write this blog and sometimes I completely forget what I've been up to for the past few days! Either I'm getting old or I need to slow down for 5 mins, hmm neither of them are going to stop happening I think...
Sooo on Tuesday we went elephant riding. So much fun! Me and Emma shared an elephant and basically sat on a bench on loads of rugs on its back, while the Mahoud led it by sitting on its neck with his feet behind its ears. We went on a ride which lasted for about an hour, going up and down some nice hills which are quite scary when you're sat on a bench on an elephant! We also went through the river on it. Just after the river the mahoud got off and I got to sit on the elephant's neck and pat its head and get my legs fanned by its ears :) I did occasionally feel like I was going to fall off. It would be a long way to fall from an elephant, though the Asian ones are apparently 'quite small'. Our mahoud took a lot of pics of us on the elephant, which is why there are some odd ones like its foot and eyes!!
After the ride, we bought some bananas at the elephant feeding station and fed them to all the elephants. Quite an odd experience to have a barrage of trunks heading for you! Was very fun though, and we had quite a preference for feeding 'our' elephant :)
In the evening we visited the night market which is absolutely amazing, with everything you could possibly want. Managed to refrain and only buy a new pair of stud earrings since I've managed to lose mine already. Apparently the habit of losing earrings only gets worse whilst travelling. Also bought a few souvenirs!! Won't say for whom though! We met up with our gap group for the last time before we headed in completely separate ways. We went to a lao restaurant where they bring out a bbq type contraption which you cook your own meat on, and it has a bit at the bottom where you put stock and veg and eggs etc so you end up making your own soup at the table. Good group activity, and we managed to leave without food poisoning so I'm calling that one a success!
Yesterday we left Luang Prabang at 7am to get the bus back down to Vientiane, where we are now. The bus was meant to take 9 hours but ended up taking 12 as it broke down twice and the second time for 2 hours! We were left sheltering in the shade outside local houses whilst several men from the bus got out hammers and various other implements and got underneath it. Fortunately they got it working and we were in Vientiane at about 8pm to find a guest house and some dinner. We had a final meal with Danni, who has been travelling round Laos with us, in a Belgian restaurant and she left this morning.
Today we have been chilling out after a hectic few days of travelling, and anticipating a couple more! Tomorrow we get an overnight train out of Laos and back to Bangkok, where we stay a night before returning to the airport for our flight to Sydney on Sunday! Time seems to have flown now we are anticipating a new country. Have loved Asia so much more than I ever anticipated, and am already mentally (and somewhat idealistically!!) planning a future trip back!
Edit: tried to upload photos but they are being hideously awkward so apologies for there being about 5 from Laos! Will try again in Bangkok.