Trip Start Aug 31, 2007
18Trip End Oct 16, 2007
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The ride is partially by road, partially on jungle mud path. There have been heavy rains and the mud is really muddy goo. A large truck loaded with 4 tons of rice has become stuck in the mud and is precariously close to slipping off the edge of the mountain if ii continues to slide. For 2 hours about 20 men try to unload the rice alternately dig or lay down stones for the truck to drive on and get our of the mud
Muong ngoi looks like it might be substantial based on the dot on the map and whats written in Lonely Planet. Its about a half square mile of shacks with a few guest houses. I stay one night and arrange for a boat to go downriver in the morning.
My boat captain doesn't speak any English. Parts of the river are rapids, not really dangerous, but there is potential for the boat to capsize. I realize that I am in the middle of nowhere, not really knowing exactly where I am with a captain who doesn't speak a lick of English and great Thai, which I have little of.
The ride down the nam-river is surreal. There are several villages that are only accessible by river, and people who have never seen Westerners.