Drama as we head upstream !!

He headed upstream from Luang Prabang for two days cruising through stunning scenery and very little in the way of population. The river fluctuated between wide and shallow to narrow and fast flowing. This involved negotiating many sets of rapids and eddies and on several occasions we were virtually stationary as our three engines, driving three propellers of various sizes, struggled to make headway. Before we knew it the captain pulled over to the bank and announced that we might have cracked a propeller so they needed to get the engineering department to go over the side for an inspection as the worst rapids were yet to come !

The inspection confirmed that it was somewhat more than cracked ! However our ever resourceful Pandaw crew somehow had it replaced and we were underway again in just over an hour.

With a major set of rapids still to come the Captain wasn’t taking any chances and a series of ropes were deployed and tethered to a large tree with a view to using the ships winches to tow us if required.

We made it without resorting to winches and soon crossed paths with one of our “sister ships” Champa Pandaw heading downstream with a “cargo” of French tourists on board.

A couple of excursions to remote local villages with many fascinated, and on the whole smiley and enthusiastic people. All living off the land and river,

Many locals along the banks panning for gold. And quite a number of major mining operations along the way. Some very dramatic sections of the river….

Stunning scenery all the way. We finally made it to a sand bar “beach” where cocktails, a barbecue and even dancing to an old Elvis album. I was not a participant but a great effort by the crew after their very energetic day with the rapids

Doing my best to avoid the dancing !!!

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