Loading the boats at 6:30 a.m.
Some boats had covers to enable the occupants to cower under something during one of the frequent downpours. Ours didn't, but it was so warm it didn't really matter. You got soaked, you dried out---eventually.
A Coupla Locals
Couple of local dudes in a typical small boat. These boats are very narrow, quite long, and good for going in a straight line. Paddles get used infrequently now--usually only when the motor konks out.
Here's a shot of our stalwart boatman, who we'll call Tom. Getting people's names right was a huge challenge. Tom's as close as I can come. Anyway, this guy knew the river very well, and lived in a village about halfway along the trip. We stayed in the village, which was another, incredible experience. Also in the picture is a girl from the village who's taking refuge under my 50 cent Chinese umbrella. Sun, rain--umbrellas are good for whatever's going on.