Today or another day (I lose track), I had my first taste of real authentic milk for the first time in ages. Milk can be added quite easily here but unlike the fruity flavored and sugar laden shit they manage to drink here, this stuff was the real deal thanks to the access to Thailand just over the watery river border. I waited around mostly doing nothing after sleeping in yet again (no alarm clock, no reservations – moments I anticipate and long for more than you may realize) before boarding my pickup and ride to Kong Lor. The hotel manager that dropped me off at the market/mini bus station presumed a two o’clock departure which we were already early for and left for me to wait alone with the rest of the locals in this songthaew, which is a pickup truck tuk-tuk fashioned with roofed cage and barely padded seats. Eventually the wheels got rolling onto the road to Kong Lor up north at 2:30 p.m. but upon a random pickup of a passenger and an assembly of goods I realized we had turned around and we’re heading back in the direction we embarked on this bumpy, rocky journey. Further into town we loaded up various supplies as well as a few more locals before waiting at the market/mini bus station one last time before my patience nearly reached its end and we could finally return to the road I always envisioned us traversing but hours before. Along the way on this ride that thankfully did not turn around anymore, we continued making stops to either drop one of the passengers off or to make a delivery of the various items loaded into the truck bed. Apparently this songthaew acted as half bus and half UPS/mail service while tried to find some bearable position to put myself while bouncing up and down on the seat and against the metal railing cage. As day turned to night and I was the only passenger left, I found some sort of comfort out of necessity to lie down in hopes of “napping” even the road was as potholed as can be even though I read reports of it being a sealed, paved road (maybe a couple years ago but those immaculate days have long distanced themselves into the past). Eventually two hours past the presumed arrival time, I made it into Kong Lor village where I checked into a room and wasted no time falling asleep so I could make an early effort at visiting Kong Lor, the entire purpose of my venture into these parts.
Now in Laos Day 209: Songthaew to Kong Lor Cave