The cave was super cool. You get in a boat with a driver and a headlamp. The driver zooms you through the cave for 7km. Amazing. In places, it’s at least 5 stories high. In other places, it’s pitch dark and so shallow the boat scrapes bottom.
There are a few points where the boatman lets you off to explore on foot. A few photos follow.
Today, I headed north. My favorite moment of was meeting this adorable woman at a roadside food stand. She wanted me to buy one of everything! I asked if I could get a photo with her and she was so excited! She fixed her hair and straightened her skirt. She made my day!!
Tomorrow will be a very long, beautiful, ride, ending in the town with the The Plain of jars. My longest yet on the bike…250km. I admit, I love riding!!
I rode through luscious, green mountains and valleys today.
The day flooded me with warm memories of Scott’s and my Vietnam trip in 2011. Today was like re-living our favorite day of riding on that trip. The remote beauty, the fun, twisty roads, were a surprise and a treat.
I ended my day at Spring River Resort. A gem set on the river near the largest cave in the world.
Tomorrow I will explore the cave. Tonight, I’ll just stay giddy and grateful.
It’s a thing here in Laos. You rent a motorbike and ride through the countryside on a loop that begins and ends in Thakhet.
I’m doing the “best of the loop” (Thanks to Mad Monkey Motorbikes).
Today, I left Thaklet and drove fun, winding roads 120km through the beautiful countryside, and mountain climbs to Thalang. I’m staying at Posey Guest House (with other “loopers”). Posey is “fine, not fabulous”. Good enough for me.
It was VERY windy today, and I was bundled in fleece and a shell to stay warm. Warmer days are ahead and I’m so glad the forecast is getting warmer.
I’ll keep posting my progress! It’s fun to share and keeps me stopping to take photos.
I had a chuckle about my shoe choices for this trip. A far cry from those travelers on White Lotus.
Bottom to top:
Shoes for riding a motorcycle, approach shoes, water sport and trekking.
Running shoes: enough said,,,,,I always have these with me.
Flip flops: hostel, hotel, belay, going to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
Rock shoes: I’m leaving these behind to become rentals, but right now, they are my favorite shoes….ever!! The rock routes I have been doing are challenging and f!$@ awesome!! I’m 62 years old and can still follow a 5.10. Wow does that feel great.
And of course bare feet! The best of all in a place that’s warm, tropical and footloose!
I’m sitting in my hut drinking coffee, listening to the rooster crowing today’s sunrise.
What I’m noticing most, in my Laos travel adventure -so far-, is that I have time…..There is no schedule, no return ticket to worry about, no pre-planned activities. I just get to be totally relaxed and take my time with anything I wish. What a gift!!!
Yesterday, Sam, Melissa and I, along with couple other guys from camp, went to rock climb. It has been at least three years since I tied into a rope. It felt great! Hooray for muscle memory!!
Scott and I taught Sam to climb when he was about 12 years old. He is now an incredible rock climber. Watching him sail up extremely difficult routes is a joy. It’s so gratifying knowing I helped expose him to something that he lives every day of his life!
Today will just unfold. A bike ride? More climbing? Read a book? I do love the “open to all options” vibe of my trip so far. A good start to all that lies ahead.
SEA-SFO, SFO-Hong Kong, overnight HK. Hong Kong-Bangkok (BKK) shuttle bus from BKK airport to KOP airport, KOP-NAK (Thai/Laos border) then a shuttle 1.5 hours to Green Climbers Home and Sam and Melissa.
Every of the 48 hours of travel was worth it.
The karsts/mountains here are so beautiful, it’s impossible to find the words. it’s smells great, the temperature is perfect (80’s), and I’m so super thrilled to be here!
Home is a place that fills my heart and my soul. When I am in Seattle I feel grounded, whole, and “normal” (I know, there is nothing about me or my life).
I have been able to connect with friends and family. Westie is dry, safe, and in storage.
Flying Charlie Mike with Ephraim was a definite highlight of my week home. Wow! We made some changes to the aileron and elevator linkage. What a difference! It’s flying like never before! Thanks to Ephraim for continuing the improvement journey of CM. It just keeps getting better!!
Feels so good to connect, laugh and enjoy my Seattle friends and roots.
I’m not off to SE Asia on a one-way ticket this Sunday. Not sure when I’ll be back, but probably early April (so not too long).
The first time I met Janet, I was in Brevard NC to skydive, with Scott, into his 10-year high school reunion.
A few years later, I was back in Brevard to marry her youngest son. She made our wedding happen for us.
She did all the heavy lifting: from choosing the tablecloths to finding a baker willing to make a wedding carrot cake (no small feat in Appalachia in 1988.)
She stayed in my life after Scott’s death. Emailing, texting and calling me to remain current with my life.
This last month has been a difficult one for her, in and out of the hospital, and finally hospice and her passing.
She had a great life full of love. She birthed and raised the person I loved most in the world. I am grateful to her for so many reasons. I believe she thought she would rejoin her son in her afterlife. I hope, for her sake, that is true. 💕