|Breakfast shopping before shoving off|
While waiting for 9:AM to arrive I first went back up the very steep incline and road to the beginning of the village to score food for our journey. I returned with a large sandwich, bananas, two green iced teas and Oreo cookies. Just as I returned Sharon noticed the girls in front of us had coffee in to go cups. Back up the incline and up the steep road I hiked to find the coffee. Knowing I didn't want to make the trek again, not only did I return with coffee but also lovely buttery, real french croissants. That little extra allowed me to board the boat, the lines cast off and we were on our way to Luang Prabang.
|Laos village above the Mekong River|
|Navigating through the rocks and rapids on the Mekong River|
|Waiting for bags at the port of Luang Prabang|
We were all grins until the sun began to touch the horizon and I saw the port or should I say the bank of the Mekong with a few buildings perched at the top of a steep embankment. I was expecting something more substantial for a large-ish city especially at the port, again no dock. Our bow touched land, the lines secured, the engine killed and now the wait for our bags stowed deep into hull of the boat, we waited on the near vertical bank looking for the yellow and red bags to appear. Within a half hour our bags appeared and I climbed down to the bow where they were staged. The first bag I swung onto my back but the second caught me off balance a bit and the captain gave a reassuring shove to upright me and we both had a bit of a laugh. I thanked him for the help and for being such a great captain. We shook hands while we both flashed each other friendly grins and I scrambled up the embankment to the steep road to meet Sharon waiting with our other smaller daypacks. Together we slowly made our way up to Luang Prabang as the sun began to set. Reaching the first main paved street I went to the corner restaurant and asked the sweet young waitress for her recommendation for a guesthouse. Within one block she introduced us to the manager of the small Villa Luang Prabang and fortunately they had an airconditioned room with one bed, breakfast included,for $40.00 US (that's 320,000 kip, to give you an idea of the local currency, perhaps they should drop a few zeros) per night. PERFECT.
Checked in, cleaned up, and ready for dinner we first walked our sidestreet up to the main boulevard to the night market. On the way we walked by a beautiful restaurant called "The Blue Lagoon" and thought it was a good possibility to give us a special treat from our ordeal of the last three days. But we weren't going to make a snap decision..no no..so we walked through the market to view all the beautiful handicrafts. This market went on for many blocks and my stomach was now overriding my vision so I asked Sharon if we could direct our energy back to The Blue Lagoon.
|Celebratory dinner at the Blue Lagoon, Luang Prabang|
The young Laos waiters lead us to the rear outdoor eating area next to a small water feature. The restaurant was beautifully lit and constructed with excessive use of teak hardwood. The efficient and attentive wait staff promptly brought menus, wine list, water, and wonderful french bread with herbed butter, a good sign. We treated ourselves to a bottle of Chilean red and ordered local dishes. The food was remarkably presented and served. This is very very rare in our trip so far. The concept of serving both people simultaneously has not quite caught on yet. Half way through dinner a large German gentleman came by our table to ask if everything was to our liking and we couldn't rave enough about the food and service which brought about a very friendly grin. He introduced himself as Peter, the restaurant owner and thanked us for our patronage.
We returned to our air conditioned lovely room knowing we had just reached Eden.