Today we did one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done and seen one of the nicest natural things I’ve seen, but more about that later.
We’ve been resting for the last few hours after a busy morning starting at 7.30. Just a heads up, I got through my headache, it can be caused by only one of a few things as I haven’t had headaches much since I stopped drinking wine. 1. The malaria tablets are causing them 2. The heat and humidity is causing them. 3. Something else eg constipation is causing them – rule this one out my friends “The Bowel Queens”, things are moving ok. I spoke to Naa and she asked if I was taking the malaria tablets, answer is “yes”, she said that if you drink the Thai or Lao beer or other beer as well with the tablets then a lot of her travellers have headaches and belly problems. Her advice is that where we have been and are going is malaria free and we should be comforatble not taking them. TMM (remember him?) he stopped this morning not knowing this as he’s been feeling pretty off, me, I took mine this morning and I’m stopping tomorrow and not having a beer today.
So, what happend today? We start by immitating Bruce, our disappearing, non compliant, ignorant fellow traveller by not having breakfast at a French Bakery and not with the others at the hotel. The bakery has lovely looking breakfast pastry, we both get 2 pastries and a coffee but I end up with 2 coffees ( I order an iced coffee – brilliant over here in the heat). Ambitions outweigh our ability to consume this much food and 2 strong coffees gives me a bit of a buzz. My eyes are pilsing, apparently this is local coffee and higher caffiene content. We waddle back to our hotel ready for the 8.30 walk to the local markets near and on the river. Some men are playing boche in a clearly marked area on river bank, think money might be on the game as its serious stuff. It’s very competitive.
Its a lovely walk, I see some lovely hand stitched aprons, might see about getting one for The Navigator so she cooks me more cakes when I get home (price is 50,000kip = $5) We stop at a Budhist temple and three novice monks are knocking lychees or nuts out of a tree and eating them, just being boys, which is all they are.
Next we leave with our swimmers and hats and head to go to Kuang Si Waterfalls about 35 minutes out of Luang Prabang, its also a sanctuary for rehabilitating bears to allow them to return to the wild after being injured.
The falls are spectacular, nicest waterfall I’ve seen yet anywhere. We go swimming at level 2 where we linger for ages. The water is clear, clean, bluey/green (to my colour blind eyes) and coolishly refreshing, we don’t want to leave. We all exit the water feeling so much better, like a different person. The place is well worth the visit.
Lunch in the resturant in the park is an exercise in patience, service is crap but the people nice, they get the orders wrong and it takes ages to come. I order a papaya salad (tiny spicey), I can’t eat it, my lips and tongue are dancing and almost numb, my nose is running and my eyes watering. Naa thinks I’ve ovecooked the theatrics and tastes it (she has the Thai tolerance for really spicy food) she immediatly spits it out, its too hot even for her. My spice tolerance is at best middling, I like small medium amounts but this has been atomic level spiced. Looks like I needed the big breakfast after all.
Next we stop at a buffalo research centre, focused on improving genetics for the Loation herd, they raise money by selling buffalo milk icecream. Its a nice icecream.
A 2 1/2 hour rest is on the cards, I’m weary but no headache so that’s pretty good so a shower and sit in the air con and chill is the go. Tonight is dinner together at a nice place near the river and we’re off shopping again I think.
Dinner is a a very nce restaurant, a pork and rice dish with a watermelon juice costs me 65,000 kip $6.20. A quick walk to the markets and a 1 hour massage finish the day pretty well
5.10 am start tomorrow to go see the monks collecting their alms so ciao for today – Pauolo