Day 19 Saturday 17th Jan 2014
Off to Kuma Lodge. We are going to stay in a tent! Four hour boat trip turned into six. The boat could hold 20 people but Alice decided we should have our own. Such luxury. I have seen enough of the beautiful scenery now. The river carves it's way between steep forested mountains. A visual break comes by way of a village, buffalo, pigs, goats, fishermen, HUGE barge taking goods to China or some rapids. Of course the trip went quick enough.
The by now compulsory village visit was again an example of how we exploit each other. Do we not visit and the people get no money, or do we visit and change their lives for ever. The latter is going to happen for sure. I am yet to find a village either progressive or old times without a still. This village had lots of weaving and unusually the women pushed their product. Ah capitalism.
Lunch on the boat was what we are expected to want. A European version of Laos food, or a Laos version of European food. Always the chilli is in a separate bowl so if my mouth burns it is my fault. Only a tiny amount is needed.
I have forgotten how you actually carry a bag. Porters take them on, off, into, out of everywhere. Kamu Lodge is an eco retreat. A French entrepreneur who owns several of these around the world has rented the land off the village next door. Why he chose this place I don't know. There are so many like it so and very isolated. We tried fishing by throwing a net, shot a crossbow and watched gold panning in the afternoon. Keen for a chat before dinner but all the English speakers were engaged so again only our own company. Maybe tomorrow night. We could double our chances of conversation if we spoke French.
The day ended with the children of the local village putting on a show. This reminded me of the way we used to embarrass our parents when we were kids. We would sing or recite poetry for their dinner guests. Then out came the hat. Same here but we felt it very useful as we believe the money went for 'school supplies'. It was an enjoyable evening I even got to dance - if that is what you call what I do to music.
We unravelled the old style mosquito nets that are held by a hoop over your bed. No mosquitoes. Nearly every bed we have slept on is very hard compared to ours. It gives such a sound sleep i think we will have to change at home. The rodents fussing around outside the tent gave us a fright but the