Longterm camping is hard on gear. We knew this going in but are honestly thrilled to report that the majority of our gear has been holding strong. Not so the case with our camp chairs.
San Ignacio, that lovely oasis of date palms. A wonderful respite from the surrounding desert landscape. It is easy to find you have lost several hours in the streets of San Ignacio. We wandered the grounds of the town plaza and Mision, once again extremely appreciative of the appeal of the “old”.
We pulled into town on the afternoon bus from Saigon. Heat waves shimmered off the pavement, and the smell of pungent fish sauce assaulted our sinuses. Saigon, our entry point into Vietnam, had been sheer chaos. Amazing, intriguing, delicious and dripping in history to be sure, but absolute chaos. After risking our life and limb on a daily basis exploring the city, we were more than ready for a different type of traffic jam. Enter Mui Ne.
On our road trip to Overland Expo in May, we were fortunate enough (smart enough?) to take the road less traveled, i.e, scenic Hwy 395. This, mostly two lane, highway runs from the Canadian Border in Washington, through Oregon, and as far south in California as Kramer Junction, even dipping briefly into Nevada at Reno. Having never driven through the Sierra Nevada’s previously, we were game for scenic wonder, little traffic, and some new sites along the way. We couldn’t have chosen a better route.
Two young kids, longing for adventure, meet up in an abandoned house, the lone members of the “Spirit of Adventure” club. They grow up, marry, and dream of traveling to Paradise Falls in South America. But, reality intervenes, and each time their savings jar is filling, a problem occurs, a broken down car, a hospital visit, you know, adult stuff.
Luang Prabang is a place I loved, and yet am unsure if I ever want to return to. A UNESCO World Heritage Site of around 50,000 residents, the town sits at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers. What makes it so appealing may also lead to it’s inevitable downfall, as more and more travelers flock to it’s serene banks. Inexpensive hotels and guest houses abound along with a variety of great restaurants, both international and of local Laotian cuisine. The thriving night market is made up of street after street of astonishing handmade goods, and the daily Alms offering to the monks is a highlight. All of this, combined with great natural beauty, makes Luang Prabang an easy to place to fall in love with.
There isn’t a lot left of the ancient Cham ruins at My Son, but from the rubble it’s easy to imagine how impressive the site must have been.