These are the latest pictures and short stories from our month travelling Laos!
Over the last two years we've really put our gear to the test. We're currently finalising our list of everything that hasn't made the distance, including this Nalgene bottle, Steripens, ipad cases, an air mattress, three air pillows, a digital camera, 2x tents, a titanium pot, hair clippers, helmets, map holder, spokes, rims and lots of clothes.
NEW COUNTRY TODAY! We crossed the border into Laos via bus today because Kat can't ride the bike yet. It was a MASSIVE pain in the bum (lots of arguing and paying bribes) and Alee swears to never get on a bus with the tandem again!
The only way Kat can ride currently (without damaging her back further) is by stretching and relaxing the muscles in her back for 15 minutes every hour. It's not the fastest way to get about, but it's REALLY good to have her back on the bike!
We'd heard of Jude and Astrid for over a year before we finally met them in Laos! They are both from Melbourne and share a bunch of mutual friends with us – it's a small, small world, right?! They are travelling the opposite direction to us, on their way to Scotland on some lovely Australian-made touring bikes. We will certainly be following their colourful blog, check it out: www.foonsonbikes.wordpress.com
Laos is the most bombed nation on Earth! 288 MILLION TONNES of bombs was dropped here during the Vietnam War, and of these munitions, ~30% hasn't even detonated. This is a huge problem for the local people, who accidentally hit them when carrying out daily tasks. At the current rate of clearing, it will be 100 more years until the land is safe again.
There are more butterflies in Laos than any other country we've travelled! This can be attributed to the ideal climate, and fewer areas of development. If you're lucky, you might even find one on your face!
Sometimes people go past their call of duty! We pulled into a hotel, just as Kat was feeling sick. The family cared for Kat as if she was their own, and cooked up a storm for Alee too! They wouldn't accept payment – we love the Laos people.
Kat's parents Ruth and Andrew dropped in to Luang Prabang to visit us Alleykats and treated us to eight days of luxury, love and unlimited food. We're outstandingly lucky to have parents who'll fly anywhere in the world to see us.