Knowing that a 230km drive was going to take us ALL day in ‘Laos time’, we visited our favourite baguette vendor early, then hit the road. The first 30km took an hour… I’m no mathematician, but Joe is, and he said that that meant it was going to take a f&^%ing long time to get the Luang Prabang. We had to pull over and make a cup of tea in one of the bamboo sheds next to the roadside rice paddies just to come to grips with how much bad road we had ahead. Back in the car, we put on some tunes and braced ourselves for the long, winding and bumpy road ahead.

Just as well we had braced, because nearly every winding corner we turned as we climbed through the mountains on highway 13 was covered in dirt and tree roots from a recent landslide. Three times we had to stop and park in the long queues of cars, trucks, scooters and buses whilst bulldozers worked to clear the freshly fallen earth from the road.

As my ever present paranoia awoke, I began to ponder that landslides have to happen at some time, and why not whilst we’re driving directly underneath them? But as I looked around at the scooters, 2wd buses and random farming vehicles (RFVs) that were skidding through the same mess, I became very grateful that we had BOB, the ever reliable (fingers crossed) high clearance 4wd! Also because he has a fridge inside which will be handy for snacks, just incase we end up buried alive.