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Published: October 11th 2019
October 11 – Not such a great night of sleep last night. Becky and I both heard the dull thud of a slamming door several times last night, and Becky also had the pleasure of hearing someone throwing up at the same time. Somehow I missed that. Then at around 5:30 someone outside was on a megaphone talking, no idea what about, until 6:50am. Damn, that was annoying. We got up well before it ended, because what else could you do?
Before breakfast, we had a problem with the safe and couldn’t get it open. I think it just wasn’t working for Becky. I went downstairs, told the front desk girl, she woke up the guy who woke better English, and he came up with me to see. It opened when I tried, but since he had seen the combination I put in the safe, we had to remember how to change it again. Luckily Becky remembered, she changed the code, and we headed down for some scrambled eggs. After breakfast, we got ready for the day and headed downstairs again for our 8:30 pick-up. Two other girls in the hotel were going with us as well, so we chatted
with them a bit. Both England, young and traveling for a few months.
The first part of our trip was a tuk-tuk to the Elephant Cave about 17 km from town. It is a very small cave but had a formation that kinds-sorta looks like an elephant. And it has the obligatory Buddha and footprint to match. From there we walked to the Water Cave, picked up a tube, and got in the water. We all got in a line – there were several tours and tour groups there – and pulled ourselves into the cave on a line that was in place. It was tubing but with effort. It was fun, but was all rather fast and a bit manic.
After we walked back to the tuk-tuks, we drove to a site on the Nam Song River where we had lunch, a couple of skewers of veggies with some chicken and spicy pineapple, fried rice and a baguette. I put the stuff on the skewers in my baguette and made a sandwich. After lunch, part of our group went tubing down the river, one couple went ziplining and then the rest of us went kayaking. We got
a brief instruction for those that didn’t know how and then we were off, Becky and I in a kayak together. It was a nice time, over some extremely minor rapids and past some bars with music blaring. In the not so distant past, this was a place for drinking while tubing, but after several people died as a result of being drunk and drowning in the river, the government shut down most of the bars along the river. We had a pretty good time, but I think I would also have liked to have gone tubing and floated down the river at a slow pace to soak up the beauty of the surroundings.
After tubing, we drive back to town, the Koreans signed some paperwork, we dropped them at a place where they would pick up the buggies for the rest of their daytrip, and then we were dropped off at a Blue Lagoon (there are at least six natural pools around here with that name) for two hours. It was beautiful, but also loud and kind of annoying with a bunch of people being loud, jumping off of a platform or tree into the water. I went
for a short walk across a bamboo bridge where, I suspect, tourists are not supposed to go. I saw some actual natural places and then came upon a group of water buffalo being herded in that direction. I also saw a spider larger than my hand. I headed back to Becky and then we found a place on a swing by the river to sit for a bit. We eventually moved to sit in a different place to get in the water, which was freezing. It took me ages to get in, as always, but I got swimming eventually. The girls we were with earlier came towards the end of our time there, and we chatted with them again before heading out.
The tour dropped us off at the hotel, where we showered and packed a bit before going out to book a bus to Vientiane for tomorrow. In the end, we chose to book with our hotel. Earlier, the woman working said they had minibuses going every hour in the morning for 80,000kip, but the guy tonight said there was one at 9am and one at 1pm and the price was 60,000 kip. Strange, but we booked for
9am. From there we went next door to the Oasis restaurant we’d eaten at on our first day. Quite a lovely little place with a nice server, good music (all the music here is from cover bands), tasty food, and free water and peanuts as a starter. We both had ginger chicken and it was nice. I got a bubble tea afterwards and we had to walk through a minute of what seemed to be a pot cloud in both directions. The air all around was actually very hazy. Weird.
We spent the evening packing and writing and looking at the photos from the day. Another good day.
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