Friday, May 16, 2008

16 May Sky Watch Friday





We drove from Salavan all the way back to Vientiane today, and I was thrilled by the clear skies most of the way. The monsoon is starting and during the first month of the rainy season, the skies can be the most clear - during the dry season a lot of dust floats in the air, both from dust raised from dirt road but also from people burning and plowing the old fields in preparation for the current year's planting.

Above and below, the fields are starting to get filled up with rain water.



Along the road, there are other, more human sights. On the left, farmers are fixing a tok-tok, which is a two-wheeled tractor, used for just about everything. For plowing, metal treads are attached to the wheels but the treads can be exchanged for regular tractor wheels so the vehicle can be used for pulling a cart. When not filled up with rice or supplies, tok toks are the main form of transport for people, often seeming to carry most of a village to the market.



This is the regular bus that goes along the rougher dirt roads in the province. It's an old Russian transport truck with a new body. The seats are made of wood, and there are no windows. The shocks are awful and there is constant dust in the vehicle - however, Lao people are patient and always make the best of everything. People generally laugh and tell stories during the uncomfortable ride, knowing that you can make anything tolerable depending on your attitude.


And the final picture of the day - looking east towards the Vietnamese border and the mountains north of Tha Khaek. It's very peaceful looking now - but during the 'Vietnam' War, which spilled into Laos, bombers dropped an incredible amount of ordnance on these hills to try to cut the many roads that made up what was called the Ho Chi Minh Trail.


Although we left at 8 am, we didn't get into Vientiane until 10 pm - we stopped at another province hospital to visit two people who were injured in UXO accidents. This took a little more time than we expected as we spent some time talking about treatment and follow-up plans for them.

This is my contribution to Skywatch Friday which is hosted over at Wiggers World

13 comments:

David said...

nice pics, I love the colour here!

Cheers,

David Webb - Nature Pictures
~/~

Marie said...

Very interesting. Beautiful photos!

GMG said...

Beautiful pictures, nice journey! Great post!
Blogtrotter

RuneE said...

An SWF post outside of the ordinary. Interesting information and pictures.

imac said...

Great photos and information enjoyed.

Ann from Montana said...

Beautiful sky photos...it is always hard to imagine how differently people live in different parts of the world. I am so used to "technology", shiny cars, etc. And to be honest, seeing "Mekong Delta" - I came of age in the late 60's...it is still difficult in that it evokes the angst of that time - no matter what my intellect tells me. So, good to see simple, beautiful land and people - Thank you!

dot said...

Enjoyed your post! Very interesting and your photos are great. That's beautiful countryside.

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

i like the last photo - the one full of cloudy sky. makes me feel like hurrying off home before bad weatehr starts

Thiên said...

I find you pictures and narrative very interesting and I am so glad to have visited. I will see you again soon! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

John said...

Interesting information and nice pictures!

Borneo Breezes said...

I drop by for the taste and glimpse of Lao. Such lovely and touching stories and photos. Thank you.

Dick said...

Beautiful landscape and sky, it looks like a painting especially the first one.

MyThreeDaughters said...

It is amazing how familiar some of the parts of the scenes are even though in a different country to mine.
www.homesteadblogger.com/ourlittlehouseintown