Messing abaht on the river
14.01.2017 - 14.01.2017 30 °C
Today was a day spent messing about on the river – and what a wonderful day it was.
Taking a tourist multi seater boat – but just for us and our guide – we were swept upriver at a sedate speed. Now don’t get me wrong, these are no luxury cruisers. No, they actually remind me of a good old Grand Union Canal barge – just one that’s been hollowed out, filled with rows of seats (two each side of a central aisle) and covered with an old awning left over from someone’s garden party.
However none of that mattered as we sailed - or chugged – up river in search of a sacred cave. Firstly, the Laos scenery is stunning, with rolling hills (possibly almost small mountains) covered in dense lush vegetation.
Secondly there were the various different uses of the river banks, for crops, cattle or fishing. And thirdly the simple idyllic feeling of being on the water in such a glorious day.
The Bhudda caves (there were actually two) were amazing. People have been coming to the caves with individual Buddha’s for decades and adding them to the collection. There are Buddha’s of all shapes, sizes and colours although mostly gold or drake brown or black. A prayer to the Buddha and an offering of some incense and a flower theoretically gets you his blessing. The lower cave is more of a vast opening in the cliff walk into which sunlight floods. The upper cave is completely in darkness and a torch is required to go round. In this cave the stillness of the buddha seemed palpable. Mind you they were managing to film a scene for a TV drama in the entrance to the lower cave and that does take away a bit of the reverence.
The journey back saw us stopping at a silk farm to see how silk is made – and of course to spend money on the items produced by the local village from the silk. That is mostly scarves....an awful lot of scarves......