Day 23 1057 days to go. distance travelled today 45km total 996. It’s 11.20am friday 23/12/2011 Kong Lo Cave. I am literally basking in the sun on a rock like a gigantic frilly lizard without the frills. The man who I’s staying with is with some friends eating lunch so as I’m going back to his to grab Rube and the gear it looks like I have some time to update you on today so far while slothing. I’m on the bank at the river mouth where the stream exists the cave and some locals have stalls set up. Great spot to chill after this morning’s venture. The caves amazing the caves amazing the caves amazing. Right then I’ve said it three times just to make sure you were listening and got it. I was first boat6 off this morning I suppose the benefit of staying with a local family and with a driver in the rear and a navigator in the front we long boated it through the 7kms of dark eery delish. The only light were their head torches which flashed across the ceiling to reveal the maize of wormhole smaller caves that spine upwards and outwards from the main cavern. When the light hits the water it sends out this kaleidoscope pattern on the ceiling mesmorising. White sand and stony coves appeared periodically and we stopped and walked one where they have lit the feature stalagmites and other rock formations. It was extra special to have the place to ourselves cause on the way back it was a turnstile of long boats and some of the atmosphere was lost. We had to hop out from time time to time to navigate through the shallower rapids which I loved and added to the adventure. The morning started with a breakfast of grilled fish, like a chicken liver pate which was really yum, green vegetables and sticky rice. The mother seems incredibly facinated by my butt and wants to grab it all the time and laugh. It’s less sizable than hers so she’s very interested clearly in this difference. It’s really odd to have your private bits prodded and giggles at. It’s only women and it’s about curiosity – I’ve had other poke at my chest again being smaller then them generally and so inquisitive about my difference. I just roll with it and laugh and pull away when it’s clearly enough trying so hard not to show my eeeeeeek please don’t do that inner screaming dialogue. That aside I had time then to check out the farm and take some really great photos of the morning light and layout big pottering fun.
It’s 6.44pm same day and my7 post was interrupted by two ladies working one of the stalls who literally came over to have a chat. They wanted to know everything I was doing. It was really gusty at times and another lady had her matting and personal stuff blown from her stall so I helped her pick up her stuff so I think this got their attention. Anyway they knew no English but we just started gesturing and chatting and laughing it was fun and you could tell they were good value. They knew I didn’t want anything cause I was still full from my sticky rice breaky so it was genuine interest and conversation. Unfortunately it was time to leave and I shook their hands and they were introducing me to the other ladies about on my way to the tuk tuk -it was really cool – big wave good bye. So I headed back to the home stay and packed up Rubes with a group of inquisitive little lads watching on. ( showed them all my toys and they loved the multi tool the best go figure. Of course the camera was a hit and I let the eldest take a group photo he was soo chuffed. I just had to cycle out of that landscape it is so beautiful there and despite the headwind no matter what direction the road traveled (couldn’t figure that one) it was an awesome 45kms back to Ban Vandea where Rube and I caught a taxi over the limestone range to return to the main route 13. I shared the back of the taxi with this young lad who was sooooo car sick poor darling. I helped him with toilet paper, plastic bags and water as best I could and he prayer gestured many thank yous. So that’s where I am tonight about to dig into 3 minute noodles a great dinner when I have access to boiling water. All the guest houses a roadside restaurants seem to have hot water dispensers and they have been happy for me to fill my thermos up which has been great for pick me up coffee sachet breaks.
Tomorrows an early start to make sure I get into Tha Khaek before 5pm. It’s about 100km but it may be a bit hilly and windy going by the last days and map. Anyway I have all day then to cover the Ks so all’s good. Hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed my side-trip – it’s been very special and cool to share. Talk soon x
NO PHOTO FILES AVAILABLE TO UPLOAD NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! WORDS ALONE UNFORTUNATELY THAT WILL NOT DO THIS AREA OR EXPERIENCE JUSTICE BUGGA