The bus strained and groaned its way up the steep, narrow goat track of a road, ceiling fan whirring dangerously close overhead.
Diesel fumes wafted in the window, mixing together with the smell of chicken poo, sweat and musty rice sacks. I glanced at my watch, a scheduled three hour trip? It had already been a little over four.
With a belch of smoke and splutter we reached the top and hurtled down towards some rusty rooftops, which I assumed to be a town.
As we slowed to a halt, a hoard of people of all ages descended upon us, hawking their wares, hands shoved through windows thrusting cooked meat, dried fruit, and packets of sticky sweetness.
Pondering the time and the rumble in my belly, I scrounged around in my bag for kip.....the massively inflated worthless state of the currency meant I needed about 8000 kip for something that was worth about $1 Au..
"How much", I asked the toothless old man? "4000 kip", he replied grinning at me with his gums
I smiled wryly, knowing I was being massively ripped off, but not really caring.
"Ok, just one" I took the meaty stick, trying my best to ignore the filthy state of his hands.
It was only after my second bite that I started to ponder the source of this chewy meat, it didn't quite taste like beef, although the texture was similar.
I turned my attention back to my travel guide whilst I finished my snack.
The bus was halfway up the next mountain when I came across the words which made my stomach heave
"....Look out for the local delicacies, such as barbecued field rat on a stick"