Loading onto the downriver boat:
A guy with a suitcase slipped + fell + slid but fortunately not all the way down into the Mekong. Also a bit of confusion as a few tourists intending to head upriver ended up on the Luang Prabang-bound boat instead.
Today's upriver boat to Huay Xai + a few who boarded it by mistake (thinking it was a second, much emptier boat to Luang Prabang):
Bicycles on the roof belong to two American guys who'd cycled from Oudomxay to Pak Beng - great company of kindred spirits for today's boat ride, as always turns out to be the case with cyclists (& motorbikers) whom the cat meets on the road in Laos.
Goodbye Kiwi & the cat - Mr Kiwi was staying behind to get his 'gong tai huup' from Ms. Phetsokxai Manager later this afternoon:
Quite a few puzzled stares from both locals & foreigners alike during our time in Pak Beng. Apparently the guy is far too young & thin & the bespectacled girl too geek to fit the Falang man-Asian lady couple stereotype. If only they (those who stared) had watched this :P
The boat started to pull away, then reversed back - to pick up the captain of yesterday's Luang Prabang-Pak Beng boat & his family. Smiles of recognition as their former passengers (from yesterday) reached out to help them to load their belongings & board the boat, as they threw their stuff over & jumped across from another boat closer to shore :) Like buses & songthaews, boats follow a rotation system that gives everyone a fair share of business. Having had their turn to be on the river yesterday, their boat was now back in the queue, & it might be weeks before they get to take to the river again. To get to Huay Xai for the New Year holiday, they'd hafta be passengers on someone else's boat.
Goodbye Pak Beng!
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