Today, here is a gallery of twelve photos from our trip to Phoukhoun last week.
Things that I didn’t take a photo of, but wish I had:
- The hot water heater in our bathroom at the guesthouse (that’s right, people, hot water heater. Hooray for hot water heaters!)
- The (very good, actually) piles of barbecue goat we ate for dinner.
- The big piece of intestine I accidentally picked up (and very stealthily fed to the dog underneath the table. Hooray for dogs!)
- The candles we were given to light our way when we reached the guesthouse after all that goat and discovered that the electricity was out. (Candlelight on a cool evening in the mountains makes everything feel like a story. Hooray for candlelight!).
And, finally, here’s a photo I didn’t take, but which stopped me in my tracks. It was taken up in the north of Laos. (So was a picture of what was left of the poor guy inside this snake, which I’m not going to show you.)
I have seen plenty of big snakes, but I’ve never seen one this big.
On the way back to Luang Prabang on Friday night we made a toilet stop at a small beer garden. The men, of course, could just wander into the dark by the side of the road. As Mike says, they are boys and the world is their bathroom.
I, however, had to be escorted to the sole toilet by a seven year old carrying a flashlight. Down the muddy path by a big pond we went, and up a small hill to a tin shed (where, I am a little ashamed to say, I took the torch and left the child standing alone in the dark, waiting for me to do my business).
“Khamsan’s ruined my peace of mind with that picture of the snake,” I said, a little crossly, as I climbed back into the car three minutes later. “All I could think about in the toilet was snakes.”
“It’s nice of you to blame that all on Khamsan,” Mike said, “seeing as how you stood there staring at that photo for a full minute, and then borrowed my flash drive to copy it. Besides, that snake wouldn’t have fit in that toilet, not even close.”
“It would have fit in the pond though,” I said. “It definitely could have been swimming around in that pond like a giant Lao Ness Monster.”
“I really don’t think it would choose the fishpond of a beer garden to live in,” Mike said. “Especially not one right beside the main road linking Vientiane to the north of Laos.”
“I might live in a beer garden if I were a snake,” I said.
“Well, then,” Mike said, “around here you’d be a dead snake.”