I recently got back from a trip to Thailand. Coming back up the Mekong we had a slow ride as the boat had some engine trouble. The rainy season rains had swelled the river and, in places where the river is not so wide and also not very deep, the current is strong enough that some boats, when laden, can’t make headway up river. In this situation, the boat has to drop back downstream a little way and a cable is run to the bank where it is anchored on a rock. The boat’s winch is then used to help pull the boat up. In a smaller boat – a canoe, or raft or something, these stretches would look like rapids, but in a 40 meter boat they don’t look so ominous.
There were a couple of days when it rained all day and night. Back in Jinghong, we have also recently had heavy rain. At this time of year in Jinghong the fragrance of tea is rather muted. The flavours are all there, but the humidity seems to surpress the more aromatic compounds. It will not be till September that the weather will become dryer, and tea will change again.