There are possibly loads of reasons (or excuses) why in particular we did not wake up in ‘fine fettle’ today but between the hike of the day before, the booze from last night and the fact that today’s new batch of malaria tablets were disagreeing with me, meant I was neither a well nor a very happy bunny either! I was feeling a mix of achey, sickly, headachey, the whole kit and caboodle really. Still my wife looked after me and when I wanted some much needed sustenance she ran out and came back with a baguette which was very nice – she is good to me!
Food eaten, we just settled back in the room and watched some films – The Expendables 3, which is like every superhero/spy film you have ever seen except the actors are all a lot older and needed walking frames. I can imagine that when they all roll up in their in their big Hollywood Winnebagos that pride of place goes to the botox tanker which sits in the midst of it all and feeds each ‘home’ of the rich and famous. After this, we watched another set of ‘old crocks’ but instead of botox all these guys needed was a stitch or two to make them look in top condition. The Muppets Great escape is one of those films you have to like, well you don’t have to but you do not need to use very much brainpower to watch it and to be fair I had not got a great deal of brainpower to spare, so it was a great laugh!
The film watching took up a large part of the day but even later when we went out we still both felt slightly under the weather, so we went and ate Laos style and sweated absolute buckets but this did at least seem to work its magic and we felt cured enough that we could go and have a look at the Luang Prabang storytelling place – Garavek.
This is a very small and intimate theatre we thought it was brilliant. Only half a dozen of us were in the place and I think at the most it could hold an audience of perhaps twenty or so. There was an old guy playing the Khene (pronounced ‘Ken’) which had a sound not unlike a strangled harmonica but he could get some really tuneful rhythms out of it, whilst the young lad next to him recited stories. The stories were very good and often were about Luang Prabang’s landmarks such as the nearby hills, the river and a couple of the local mountains. The whole experience was very good and you could see that although the two guys did this every evening it was still important to them to get across the message of the stories so of which had their moments of humour and sadness too. The old guy often gave us all something of a wry smile whilst playing and I felt sure he knew something about the stories we did not. For him they seemed to be evoking memories of days when he was younger playing the Khene and perhaps impressing the ladies … lol, who knows eh! Afterwards we sat outside and had a couple of beers and got chatting to the organiser of the theatre, who also appeared to be the cleaner for the place as well, he was a long way from home being from Scotland but seemed to love Luang Prabang and its laid back lifestyle.
To finish the night off we strolled back to the Aussie bar and watched Match of the Day on their television, which was quite good. We chatted about Luang Prabang and it really is one of those places I could stay, it is simply that nice a place and really chilled out too. We chatted for a wee bit too long though and the rains once more came down excessively so we had to wait for them to slow before we could run back to the hotel.