Hi Stuart. Love the Couchfish series. It helps make up a little for the travel I am missing.

My wife and I always walk wherever we go. As well, we usually try and plan for a trek of 3 or 4 days whenever we go anywhere. Our most memorable trek was in northern Laos, out of Phongsali. We hiked with a guide up into the hills. We totally lucked out our first night and were invited to a wedding in the village we were staying in. It was amazing, we were the only nonlocals in the village and we crowded into the smoke filled hut for the meal and the party. As guests we were given a couple of small plastic stools while everyone else crowded in on the floor. The food was brought in on big trays and plonked on the floor - lots of small communal bowls to dig into with your chopsticks and spoon. I tried everything except for the fresh pigs blood. Also, the lao lao flowed freely. Our guide was completely hammered by about 8pm. As we crawled off to bed he mumbled something about seeing the sunrise in the morning. As we are early risers we crawled out of bed in the morning to catch the sunrise. The village was high in the hills and we were above the clouds. We could see the hill tops in the distance above the clouds as the sun came up. It was totally magical - I told my wife that it looked like what I imagine heaven might look like.

Keep going with the articles. I will keep dreaming of travel. I have my next 6 trips in the planning stage!

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