It's been a few weeks since we got back from cycling in Laos, and I've had time to reflect on the amazing experience of riding in rural Laos. My mind keeps returning to the villages that we rode through each day. It's been a long, long time since I've traveled to such a different place, and it made a big impression on me. The language barrier was profound-- few folks that we met spoke more than a few words of English (and my attempts at Lao were laughable, literally causing natives to collapse in peels of laughter, in a friendly sort of way)-- but people were eager to interact and were generally extremely warm and friendly.
Sue captured more pictures of the villages and village people, so I've borrowed a few to share here. Thanks Sue!
Our first day riding in Laos took us through this market in Pak Beng.
Women seemed to be working all of the time. Carrying stuff...
Slicing and drying tarot root...
Working at tiny shops.
We saw young children helping with work-- preparing mattress stuffing here, as well as carrying water, cutting reeds with huge machetes, carrying younger siblings on their back, etc.
Cute kid in mountain village.
Kitchens were very basic (kitty!).
This is the kitchen for one of our guest houses. Our room was to the left of this. Roosters woke us up at 4 am.
Basic houses equipped with satellite dishes. All but the poorest villages seemed to have at least a few of these.
Shifting gears to the bike photos-- rain gear!
Me and Sue in the mountains.