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Go Tell It On The Mountain

LAOS | Thursday, 15 May 2014 | Views [178] | Scholarship Entry

I'll never forget the day I trekked over a mountain in my Converse shoes.

We woke up early this morning to make sure we had packed and eaten breakfast before our 8.30am departure time. We arrived at White Elephant Offices to meet Mr Zu our trek leader.

Walking through beautiful and richly coloured countryside I was little bit worried about meeting some beasties in the overgrown shrubbery. But my fears quickly subsided and an hour later we reached the first village and pit stop.

The village children were fascinated by us and ran giggling and waving through the meeting hall where we were sat.

The walk began to get more challenging after the village. The climbs steeper and the weather was in the high thirties. I didn't realise we would literally be climbing up mountain sides, taking steep vertical steps from rock to rock. It was incredibly hot - I drank 6 bottles of water and didn't even need to pee once!

Mr Zu proclaimed we had reached the halfway point at the top of one of our climbs. And claimed there were no more uphill bits. I think he lied to us for our sanity.

That being said the heights brought with it some incredible scenery. Huge green mountains surrounded us with only trees and plants in sights. Vast valleys that had low cloud dancing around the edges.

On our next resting point, Mr Zu pointed out smoke rising across a hill and said that was our final destination. I felt pangs of despair for an elderly villager dressed in military uniform who was climbing up the hillside to find his cow. We'd past nothing but plants for the previous few hours.

A collection of small wooden shacks confirmed to us we had reached the village. Families greeted us 'Sabadee' as we arrived.

We all took a shower, which was a basin of mountain water and a bowl to pour it over you. It sent my body into a quiver of shakes pouring cold water on my overheated body. It was the best and worst feeling combined.

The removal of my shoe showed a red raw ex-blister on my toe. Where a blister had once lived and been rubbed off by my converse. I guess they are not the best hiking shoes? I attempted to clean it with an anti-bacterial wipe exclaiming 'MOTHER OF GOD' before abandoning the idea.

We were all knackered and ready for bed by 7pm. We brushed our teeth by torch light and then headed to our hut. Our beds were rock hard wooden surfaces with a mosquito net hanging over the top but that night lying right there was the best feeling in the world.

Tags: 2014 Travel Writing Scholarship - Euro Roadtrip

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