Day 32 1048 days to go. Distance: today 20km total 1578km. It’s 7.17am Sunday 1/1/2012 Don Kong Island. I was so meant to see the sun rise today which is kind of special being a new day to a new year. The locals partied here until 3am ish. It was funny there were all these little gatherings but each with their music playing like it was the village event. Oddly enough it wasn’t too offensive even to this ‘in bed by eight is too late’ party Gal. Must be the authenticity of laos fun. Do you think I have a soft spot for them? I have heard music blaring from pretty much anywhere: homes, hairdressers, paddocks, trucks, mechanics and food vendors. Yesterday I passed a wedding with the bride and groom walking through a huge heart arbor adorned with paper flowers. The guests were cheering. The music was max. The paper flowers were vibrating off the arbor. Perfect. They don’t seem to mind their speakers can’t pump up the volumes. Max on the dials max on the smiles. Yet another example of the ‘don’t worry be happy’ laos psyche. Anyway I didn’t think I’d manage a 6am rise but woke right on 5.30am. Up check, pants on check, flask check, camera with batteries check. Rube winged all our way down to the water but then ooo’d ad ahhh’d with me. The atmosphere was beautiful with the 6am bells from the watt chiming. Initially it was quite clouded bar the growing light on the horizon which spot lighted a lone fisherman. Then the sunrise colors blushed pink through the clouds and this foreplay ended with a burst of brilliance. And there we have it ladies and gentlemen, the first sunrise to 2012 which reads pretty much like an orgasm. A perfect start to a new year 😉 On a more spiritual note it was about this time the orange robed monks passed in single file heads bowed in ritual procession. The experience was very cool. So today is super low key. I’m firstly doing the last of my washing then pampering rube. We’ll then head down to the waterfront to find a posse to plonk ourselves and read up on cambodia. Around 4pm we’ll head back to Muang saen for sunset via the southern tip for pickies of the rice fields I told you about yesterday. The passenger ferry leaves from Muang khong so it should be easy enough to grab a ferry in the morning and do the 30 odd kms to the Cambodian border town of dong kralor. I read there’s ATMs at most border crossings. I so hope so ’cause I’ll be close to my last kip by then depending on the cost of the ferry and immigration charges. Otherwise I’ll be chasing some of those chickens for their eggs. It should be ok. Internet has cost double here but the speed is good. I’ll do an update later tonight and be ready to head early tomorrow. On that note to all those Loas folk I have met over the last 3 weeks I say Kawp Jai to your happy hearts and souls. Cambodia here we come. Talk soon x
It’s 5.35 and I’m looking out at the last of the sunset in pretty much awe of what Laos has offered. My favorite the people. On my way here i wanted to stop at the ferry to find out about times for tomorrow morning. The ferry workers tried but had no idea what I wanted. I eventually shrugged and smiled an ‘oh well’ then spotted a woman in upmarket hotel watering the garden. It was worth a go. She ended up being from Laos but holidaying for christmas and usually lives in Melbourne of all places. Her name is Puton and went with me back to the ferry to sort out dept times. How awesome and random is that. Gorgeous woman who accepted my card and I hope will be in contact. She returns to Melbourne on the 15/1/12. Small small amazing world we live in. It was a bit later than planned but there were still workers in the rice fields who gave me a wave. I also passed a group of men in a village playing Petang. I stopped and asked if i could take a photo and they all flexed and wanted the next throw. You just got to love that x chromosome don’t you. There was a woman watching on and we had a joke about it. I ended up stopping short of Muang sueng at a village watt right on the river. Kids were swimming and playing and once they spotted me came over to check out the tourist. They were great, fun, naughty, loved having their pictures taken . Then this older woman came over and scurried them back to their pontoon. She then sat between them and me it was hilarious. Evil westerner.
It was such a chill day. After doing some washing and servicing the beautiful Ruby, I found a café on the river front which nobody seemed to mind me sitting at. It was empty and the seats were in the shade so perfect. I could set myself up with all my maps and books. This fellow appeared at some stage but must have had a big night as he just said hi and put his head on another table and slept. Yay. I spent 4 hours there looking at maps and guide books and itineries for Cambodia reading up on the main places I’ll go through. Tomorrow I hope to get to Stung Treng 65km into Cambodia about a 90km day in total. The ferries leave from 6am then it’s a 30km cycle to Don Krolor border. Basically I’ll follow the Mekong to Phnom Phen through Kratie and Kampong Cham. From there I hope to leave the trailer and majority of gear at a guest house and Rube and I will get a return bus to Siem Reap to check out the temples for three days. From Phnom Phen I’ll follow the Mekong again to the border Chau doc and into Vietnam to the Mekong Delta> I’m really excited about cambodia.
So to all those folk in Laos I have met over the last 3 weeks I say thank you for your help, generosity and fun. You are truly warm, resilient and positive people which I have learnt allot from. I will always remember to release a bird when my worries start to build. Talk soon. X