On Monday it was time to change guest house and say farewell to our wonderful hosts at the Golden Lotus, the day was rainy and the thought of moving in the rain was not good, although our move was down and across a few streets. We booked a new guest house for 7 more nights, the Luang Prabang River Lodge, this is right on the Meekong river and I requested a room with a river view.
So we packed and put a moving plan in place, Mrs Wombat and I would move the backpacks to the new place and in the afternoon we would come back and get the big bags, it didn't go to plan........
We walked down in the rain to our new place but not expecting to check in as it was a bit early, we were greeted by our happy and enthusiastic new host, Ming and his wife, "welcome, no trouble room is ready now" we explained that our other bags were at the other guest house and we were going to get them later, "no problem, we get them now" in the now torrential rain. So Ming hops on his motor scooter and I ask how areas going to get two 20 kg bags on the motor bike, " no problem, get on the motor bike" said Ming, so here we are both on the motor bike, both holding umbrellas, driving down the road in the pouring rain, I yell to Ming, over the noise, the name of our previous guest house, he says " I know... This is my cousin's guest house. We pull up out front, and collect our bags to the surprise of Huang our previous host then Ming, throws one bag on the back of the bike, and tries to straddle the other bag between him and the handle bars, I am seeing a disaster occurring I said, you take this one and I will take the other, so off I walk like Mary Poppins umbrella in one hand and 20kg wheel bag in the other, walking down the road getting soaking wet, meanwhile Ming has done a drop off of of one bag and meets me 3/4 of the way to collect the other bag. So we settled in to our new lovely room with a view and chill for the remainder of the day going nowhere, our hosts bought us a plate of fresh fruit each and a fresh ginger and lemon grass tea, ( fresh... pieces of ginger and a hand full of lemon grass). I went out to the local store to pick up a couple of beers and we went out for dinner that evening.
The next day was looking much brighter when we woke and looked out at the river. Down for breakfast, fresh fruit, eggs, toast, and fresh fruit juice, that done time for our morning walk. Wandered around for a bit, had a coffee and as the weather was still good we decided to hire a couple of bicycles at 20,000 kip for the day.
We load up our baskets on the bike with rain coats and an umbrella and off we go just following the river till we turn off with no clue where we are. We ride down some back streets, dodge a few showers and eventually came to a cross road and eventually found a tourist map to give us some idea of which direction we were going, after working out where we were and where we needed to go, off we go again. The bikes have no gears so Mrs Wombat gets off and pushes when we come to a hill. we come to a round about and remembering that traffic being LH drive and driving on the Right we tackle the traffic with a bit of appreciation but manage to cross intersections and round about without any incidents. We now end up in another part of the town where we had previously been and lunch was calling.
Stopped an a little quaint restaurant named Letranger Books and Tea, which had an eclectic array of books, handicraft and art and got talking to the owners mother, a Canadian lady from Quebec with a french accent, she told us the story of the restaurant, we ordered a couple of healthy fruit drinks, Mrs Wombat a Brushetta and me a traditional Lao sticky rice and dip - the dip being am egg plant base, both meals were noting short of outstanding. The lady was telling us how her daughter wants to offload the restaurant but not sell it and that they are going to audition in a competition for a new owner, interesting concept, both the Wombats look at each other and wonder if we should apply......
Lunch and chat finished time to re mount our bicycles and make towards our guest house for the afternoon read and sleep, I remembered I had a couple of beers in the fridge so decided that I would have one, the read went out the door and the head went to the pillow.
We decided that we would spend another evening with the students at Big Brother Mouse, so on our bikes again late afternoon with our books and english material in our baskets for a short ride. On arrival it was it was busy as usual with the students waiting, probably 30 + all eager for us to sit with them and discuss english, I picked a group of boys of which 4 were local young Monks learning english. When you are having general discussions as we do there are many things in conversation that come up which include family size, it is not uncommon to have 10 or 13 in a family, and that some young fellows leave home and become a Monk as their family are so poor they cannot afford to be at home and at the temple they get a good education. Feeling totally wiped out it was time to go, we had a few photos and chatted for a little while with a Melbourne couple and their children, then time to take our bikes back and have dinner. Tonight we settle on pasta and and found a great pasta pizza restaurant, great meals and a well earnt beer, a walk through the market on the way back and the end of a day around Luang Prabang.
One of the evenings this week, not sure which as the days are mostly all the same, we went to a movie, actually the movie was called a projection, and it was screened at a local hotel. The movie was called Chang (Thai for Elephant) and it was one of the first documemtries ever made and was originally premiered in 1927. It was free entrance but they requested that you buy a drink, no problem with that, check out the photos and read the blurb, it was a great night out.