The epic five day hike from Hongsa to Luang Prabang really tested us. There was mud, cold noodles, more mud, communal showering, mountains upon mountains and lots of mud. The road was under construction in a big way and was barely passable. You may have heard Gab talk about how I nearly drowned in mud and was never seen again. But humans came to the rescue and made the adventure survivable.
On our first night we stopped in a village and looked for a place to set up our tent. We found a piece of flat dry ground and asked some of the locals if we were allowed to camp there. A man shook his head but waved us over to a house. We thought he was asking someone for permission but he waved us in and let us stay at his house. The family were so generous and made up a bed complete with mosquito net for us to stay in. They offered us food and helped us negotiate the communal shower situation.
I was not too keen to go for a shower as I didn’t have a sarong and so stayed behind and hung out with children as I so often end up doing. Kids are easier than adults. And more fun. I broke out the pipe cleaners that my parents had brought over in April to help me clean my Camelbak straw (good idea, didn’t work). I showed them how to make nothing because I have zero talent when it comes to crafting but it wasn’t long before a whole crowd of children were busy creating pipe cleaning works of genius.
Gab came back looking fresh and clean and I was slightly jealous. She broke out the Snapchat filters and everyone in the room was in hysterics. Good fun. I decided to brave the shower. The shower in question was a tap in the middle of the village. You shared the space with whoever else had decided it was time to get clean. Women showered in their sins which is basically a giant human sized loop of fabric. I rectified the no sarong/sin situation by showering fully clothed. It was awkward trying to wash your bits with clothes on. I wouldn’t recommend it. Luckily I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t see the crowds of people watching. I came away feeling slightly less dirty. Success.
Later that night we sat with the family as they watched Thai TV. We got a lesson in Laos and we helped some of the younger children with their English. Well, helped is probably a bit of an overstatement but we read English words with them and sang Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.
On our second day we had stocked up on noodles and water as we weren’t anticipating any villages or road side restaurants. There were campsites at different points along the side of the road where the construction workers slept. We sat down at one a table at one of these camps to rest our weary bones. A lady came out, in the whitest shirt I have ever seen and with our small amount of Thai we explained to her what we were doing. Her shirt was so white. And there was so much mud. How is it possible? Anyway, she disappeared and reappeared with some water, rice, egg and goat for us to eat. She was a magical magical food providing white t-shirt wearing angel of a lady and we were so grateful.
Humans are great. 😊 Do you have a wonderful story of human kindness? Please share, we’d love to hear it. Tag us on any of the social medias @walksewgood and use the hashtag #humansaregreat.