Standing at the bottom of the staircase the air is hot and humid and close to 35oC. Our tuk tuk driver is setting up a hammock to sleep in the shade inside his vehicle. We have just ventured over the river Nam Song across a brightly coloured orange bridge. We swam in this river last night, further up.
We pass several little stalls selling freshly sliced mango, coconut and citrus.
Looking up the stairs I am unsure whether we can make it. There are over 100 and they are steep and made of concrete. We park Coopers wheelchair next to the ticket booth and start of journey.
I am aware of the eyes upon us from the ticket booth staff, to locals to other visitors. They seem to be watching to see exactly what it is we are going to do. Disability here is very hidden and the only visible signs we have seen are a few people begging at a market and a temple, we have certainly not seen kids using wheelchairs out and about.
Cooper wants to walk these steps. So we all do. Without complaint. Well Woody may have been requesting a shoulder ride but he mostly got on with it!
Cooper walks with some help and we make it to the top with a great view over Vang Vieng. We then venture into an disused war bunker which is an amazing cave. The kids are thrilled that the steep stairs led to this adventure. It's cool and quiet in the cave and the kids ask lots of questions about the rock formations. Coopers questions are naturally war based.
The way down is slower, steadier and more sweaty.
On walking away back towards the bridge an older Korean lady approaches me and gives me a thumbs up. She says she found the walk hard and tiring but then saw me carrying Cooper on the way down and gave me a pat on the arm and a smile. She was amazed at our strength.
The kids ran back to the tuk tuk hoping for a new adventure where we could all prove something to ourselves and each other together as a family.
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