Early morning electrical storm, windy but no trouble for vehicle. Kids came for another look, but all family gone when I dropped off bag of groceries, beer and stickers inside unlocked door of granny's house. Magnificent views over mountains with clouds below tops.
Road to Luang Prabang high mountains, low valleys and sheer drops, some cleared/ burnt with sleeping huts perched precariously. Families living life in full view, picking out nits, splitting bamboo into strips, laying out grain to dry, working on bikes, walking out with empty baskets to bring back food, boy with bird destined for pot. Nice to see our first eagle/ hawk circling over valley, and high peaks south of Xiang Ngeun. A lucky day - saw a working elephant on the road. Slow going, 90kms in 3 hours, nevertheless we will remember this amazing stretch of road always.
Stopped for lunch at weighbridge, told to move on. Met rest of crew at Phousi Hotel and then set out to explore the old town with its French architecture, signage, patisserie/ baguettes, peninsula wats (Wat Sop Sickharam; Vatmay Souvannapoumaram), life on Mekong, riverside restaurants, ginger torch flowers, pétanque (form of boules where the goal is to throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to small wooden ball called piglet/jack). Walked interesting Hmong Night Markets with Cheryl, silk, traditional dress, Natia village war spoons, lanterns, Tshirts and handicrafts.