We were clock watching whilst sat outside our bungalow waiting for the tuk tuk to come and collect us to take us to our bus stop. It still hadn’t arrived.
Eventually it did and we arrived at the bus stop loaded our bags into the hold and then boarded the bus. Alex and Al were in front of me and they got on and turned and said there wasn’t much room. Looking around Alex found a seat right at the back in the corner and Al found a seat next to a slightly rotund Australian woman. That was it though… no more seats left. Suddenly the bus driver is pointing at a small uncomfortable looking fold away chair next to him. “sit sit” he kept saying. I was riding shot gun on a coach through the mountains of Laos.
No matter how cool i thought this seemed at first, i soon realised that it wasn’t. I was witness to every single insane overtaking manouvre he tried, saw the children running about in the road that we seemed to aim at and also got a first hand account of the moment we almost killed a motorcyclist. The bus driver seemed to take it all in his stride though and kept smiling and trying to chat to me in Lao. I told him i didnt understand, he just smiled more and said yes alot!!!
Although incredibly uncomfortable and terrified to fall asleep i watched the world go by. It was stunning, we were driving up the most spectacular mountain pass i have ever seen and it was really really beautiful. all the Lao families living in bamboo huts on the side of these mountains just blew me away. it really was like something out of a film.
If you were wondering why i was so scared to fall asleep, it wasn’t because of the crazy driving… no no, it was because we had the door open and if i were to fall asleep, depending on which way we went around the corner would define my fate. I’d either wake up, my head in a bus drivers sweaty lap, or i’d wake up saying hello to God at the pearly gates having fallen out the front door and down a mountain side. Thankfully Guns ‘n’ Roses greatest hits kept me awake through the sleepy part of my trip.
Arriving in Luang Prabang, alive, yet hot and very tired it was definitely time to test that beer lao again… excuse me… where is the bar!?