allraysworld

06 Jul 2017 92 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image A short visit to Laos #4

A short visit to Laos #4

Koen needs to visit a Coffee Co-Op, on the Bolaven Plateau about 10km further up the hill, to evaluate its worth as a tourist destination, and he and Tim have made it clear that cycling there is not an option...

 

So, we walk 500metres out to the main road where, we have been told, there are buses that can be flagged down. After 15 minutes of seeing no buses travelling in either direction, we leap out in front of a light truck that is heading in the direction we wish to go. Without much difficulty we explain our travel desires to the 3 men in the truck cabin, negotiate a slightly exhorbitant price, and clamber in the back where numerous women are engaged in animated gossip. It is a fun ride, and certainly less strenuous than cycling.

 

Soon enough we arrive. There is a palm-thatch wigwam out the front of the building and an intoxicating stink of coffee in the air. We find some young foreigners in the building and let them know we have come for breakfast and coffee. I make it clear that I am starving, as I didn't eat anything the previous evening. We order baguettes [from previous trips in SE Asia we have discovered that Laos learned something very important from the French who colonised them for about 100 years...how to make bread]...the chef seems a little dubious about his ability to deliver, but makes a phone call, and proudly announces that fresh baguettes will arrive imminently [see main pic].

 

Breakfast, including coffee, are excellent! I order seconds! Koen, meanwhile, has obtained Travel Agency intelligence. It seems the young foreigners are budget philanthropists who saw an opportunity to assist the small-scale coffee growers of Bolaven Plateau, by organising them into a Co-op, and assisting with branding and marketing. Now they have taken possession of a brand-new Chinese knock-off of the world's most popular boutique coffee-bean roasting engine...and we are invited to observe them trying to coax the beast into producing a marketable product [see slideshow].

 

The Co-op spokesman did reveal to us that the most successful philanthropic achievement has been the digging of several artesian bores to supply cleanish water to several local schools, along with education on how to wash hands to minimise cholera, etc.

 

We make our way back to the Tad Fane resort by a combination of regular bus plus walking...

 

A short visit to Laos #4

Koen needs to visit a Coffee Co-Op, on the Bolaven Plateau about 10km further up the hill, to evaluate its worth as a tourist destination, and he and Tim have made it clear that cycling there is not an option...

 

So, we walk 500metres out to the main road where, we have been told, there are buses that can be flagged down. After 15 minutes of seeing no buses travelling in either direction, we leap out in front of a light truck that is heading in the direction we wish to go. Without much difficulty we explain our travel desires to the 3 men in the truck cabin, negotiate a slightly exhorbitant price, and clamber in the back where numerous women are engaged in animated gossip. It is a fun ride, and certainly less strenuous than cycling.

 

Soon enough we arrive. There is a palm-thatch wigwam out the front of the building and an intoxicating stink of coffee in the air. We find some young foreigners in the building and let them know we have come for breakfast and coffee. I make it clear that I am starving, as I didn't eat anything the previous evening. We order baguettes [from previous trips in SE Asia we have discovered that Laos learned something very important from the French who colonised them for about 100 years...how to make bread]...the chef seems a little dubious about his ability to deliver, but makes a phone call, and proudly announces that fresh baguettes will arrive imminently [see main pic].

 

Breakfast, including coffee, are excellent! I order seconds! Koen, meanwhile, has obtained Travel Agency intelligence. It seems the young foreigners are budget philanthropists who saw an opportunity to assist the small-scale coffee growers of Bolaven Plateau, by organising them into a Co-op, and assisting with branding and marketing. Now they have taken possession of a brand-new Chinese knock-off of the world's most popular boutique coffee-bean roasting engine...and we are invited to observe them trying to coax the beast into producing a marketable product [see slideshow].

 

The Co-op spokesman did reveal to us that the most successful philanthropic achievement has been the digging of several artesian bores to supply cleanish water to several local schools, along with education on how to wash hands to minimise cholera, etc.

 

We make our way back to the Tad Fane resort by a combination of regular bus plus walking...

 

comments (9)

  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 6 Jul 2017, 06:39
Each day brings a new adventure, Ray
Ray: All good, wholesome fun, Lisl.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 6 Jul 2017, 06:42
Reading your words and viewing the images is a wonderful experience, it conveys the charm & eccentricity - to UK eyes - of your travels and adventures..
Ray: I trust you get some idea of how enjoyable this mode of touristing can be, Chris.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 6 Jul 2017, 06:44
Great story Ray, very enjoyable. I like the bike laden with baguettes. I see no slide show.
Ray: Is today the only day you have not had access to slideshows, Chad? don't know what can be wrong, if you have paid your power, gas and internet access bills then surely you are entitled to view my slideshow.
Une moto très lourdement chargée.
Ray: La baguettemobile attendue avec impatience, Martine.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 6 Jul 2017, 07:30
Its fascinating stuff. Sounds like a win-win for all at the Co-op and delighted to see free wi-fi, too. I like the battery delivery man; who needs airbags when you can use your loaf? Its about the first time that I can recall seeing anyone wearing a helmet.
Ray: It is Laos, and the Laos police enforce the helmet rule, Alan. In Thailand the Thai police rarely enforce the same rule and so most people don't bother to wear helmets.
The bread delivery is certainly different than we are used to but my coffee roaster uses the same machine but larger. Is the waterfall in the last photo the same one as we previously saw or another?
Ray: It is rare to find a place anywhere in Thailand with reasonable bread, but Laos bread is brilliant!

I believe that waterfall behind Koen in the last pic is the same one I shoed on the title page of the book.
I hope the coffee coop is a great success
Ray: It seems the Bolaven Plateau is beginning to build a reputation as a place where very good SE Asia coffee can be grown, Bill. I hope the young foreigners are successful in developing the Co-op, or the small farmers will be ripped off by middlemen.

I did like these young folks and their genuine desire to do good.
Well isn't that wonderful!!! I'm enjoying all these photos!
Are you sure you ordered enough baguettes?
Ray: Ha Ha

They were delicious, Graeme, and I was hungry for decent bread as it is hard to find in Thailand.

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera unknown
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed unknown
aperture f/0.0
sensitivity unknown
focal length 0.0mm
Khao Yai #10Khao Yai #10
A short visit to Laos #5A short visit to...
A short visit to Laos #3A short visit to...

Warning