The afternoon and early evening was spent at the farm before I returned to Lak Sao for dinner, a hot shower and then bed. The next morning was an early start as we figured if we worked quickly we could be loaded up and ready to drive to the capital Vientiane by noon.
We had an extra pair of hands as a young Scottish lad by the name Richard had come along for the ride with one of my business associates. He did the work of two locals and by 12 o’clock we were ready to go. We had lunch back at my usual restaurant and set of for Vientiane hoping to get in just on sun set.
Richard road along with me which was welcomed as having someone to talk to broke the monotony of the trip and we made excellent time driving in convey arriving at the office just as the mozzies became stronger then the remaining light that was left.
Along the way we came across another hydro plant that was under construction. Check out the size of just one of the tunnels!
After unloading the wood Richard and I drove into the city centre and found a place at the first place we stopped. It was the same place that I had stayed at on the trip last year so when Richard came back to the car saying that they had rooms available I figured it was as good a place as any. It was called the Douang Deuanne Hotel and I will do a review on it shortly. The place has wifi but my room was at the end of the corridor and the signal strength was so weak I gave up trying. Thankfully I was at the end of the hotel closest to the Mekong River and therefore Thailand so my Thai signal was strong and I used that to connect to the internet for the rest of my stay.
By this time it was around 8pm and I was starving so set out for a bite to eat which ended up being quite a good chicken curry on the road closest to the river.
The next morning I was met downstairs at 8am ready to drive to a plantation 52kms outside of the capital to look at some trees. It took an hour to get to the farmers house to pick him up so that he could direct us to the plantation. It took one hour and 15 minutes to get there, not bad going considering it was only 12kms away! The road was brutal and heavy rain the entire distance didn’t help things either. A lot of it was solid rock and I was worried about my back operation holding up for the entire distance given the way our car was tossed about. I am so glad I decided not to take my wheels! Not that I would have dared complain as my business associate also came along but he was on his mountain bike! Yes he road the 52kms from the city then did the 12 kms to the farm and road all the way back! Not bad considering he is 16 years older then me!
The smoothest part of the entire road was the four bridges we had to cross. They all looked similar to this one.
Finally the road ended and the rest had to be done on foot. Thankfully the rain stopped and then held off while we spent the next few hours looking over his 12,000 + tree farm. It was a great work out as some of the hills were very steep. The view at various look outs made it worth the walk.
We eventually found the car again and began our torturous return. Usually in Thailand and Laos I am the one doing the driving so it was rather nice this time being able to sit back and take the sights and sounds in from the passenger seat. Although there are vehicles every day around Laos packed way higher and more precarious then this one I never get to take photos of them as I am driving so I took this opportunity to snap one to show you as an example.
I had a meeting at 5pm organised in the city but as I was still waiting on some more information from Australia decided to postpone it until 8.30am the following morning. That gave me the late afternoon and evening free to wander around the city, eat some great food and rest.