Twenty minutes after we left the border we pulled into blue sky, the first we'd seen in over a week. We were in a different country and even more, we were in a different world. If you have to be on a long bus ride, this ten hour tour through the northern mountains of Laos cannot be beaten.
We were warm, comfortable, and happy to watch the landscape move by as our very talented driver zipped such a large vehicle from mountain top to mountain top. The hills were completely green with vegetation. Some of the mountains where like steep spires reaching for the heavens. There was not a bit of flat terrane in sight as these lush hills went on forever.
We passed through very small villages made up of simple grass roof structures on bamboo stilts. Sometimes we dipped down into small river valleys with kids playing in the water. All the way we were winding back and fourth rolling up and down.
Hardly a word was spoken the whole trip. We both had our headphones on in wonderment of the scenery that was moving by. We occasionally looked at each other acknowledging the view and our bliss.
The risk we did not even mean to take sure paid off. The ride may have been long, but there was no other way we would have seen the highlands of Laos like that. If this was a trip through hell then we should strive to be sinners.
The little feisty busmeister, whom I had originally struggled to not hate, fed us fruit, made jokes, tickled me, and even gave me a shoulder and back massage turning out a very likable character. (Asiana and I suspected he might have actually had a crush on me). The only bad part of the trip was in our mind. The fears were not real. The journey was beautiful.
We watched the sun set over the mountains as we started dropping in altitude and finally arriving in the cute town of Luang Phrabang at eight in the evening. The whole trip took about 26 hours. Lots of lessons learned... What would the Buddha do? I guess he would enjoy the beauty of the journey like we did.
Location:Luang Phabang Laos