13 November 2010



That means hello in Laotian.

For me, arriving in Laos feels like Christmas morning when you are 8 years old. It's nothing but pure and utter bliss.

Everything about Laos is adorable. We arrived on our tiny plane to the tiny airport ere the tiny people at border control issued our tiny visas before we got into tiny vans to be taken to our tiny hotel, which was followed by a tiny dinner, tiny coffee, and email check using the tiny internet connection.

I had arranged for everyone to have their laundry washed - 50 kilos in a matter of 8 hours, all to be run through just one tiny washer and dryer. After a tiny sleep I shuffled across the road at 6am to pick up the entire lot's luggage to find roughly 30 of the 50 kilos unsorted, an army of socks waiting patiently to be matched. "oh sorry, we don't know whose is whose." the remainder of the morning was spent sorting this snafu (by literally sorting everyone's socks and underwear - a great team-building activity) before setting off to pick up our bikes.

The morning cycle was a solid 30km of seriously undulating terrain complete with washed out paths, red clay, and the occasional passing vehicle. The fact that we got through it with seemingly so much ease is a testament to the group's energy and ability. Special shout out to Connie, who went head first over the handle bars and completed what was hands down the best stack of the trip.

Our path ended at a small village, where we had lunch and changed before starting our ascent. I'm not going to lie - the path was steep and the sun was hot. It felt like we were literally walking directly up the side of the mountain (perhaps because we were). Fortunately there were no major tumbles, but there was one person who officially earned their "rock star" status. At 71 years old, Hans has quickly become the most beloved man in Asia. He has completed every single challenge and done it with a smile on his face. His motto: "I'll get there - just slowly slowly."

As he and I caught up with the group at the base of the village, everyone erupted in cheers. Go Hans! Go Hans! Go Hans! Now for dinner and stories around the fire with the newest addition to the team - about 50 kids who just love watching out every move. Cynthia has already made plans to bring about 10 of them home with her...

-- Posted from my KyPhone

No comments: