Monday, August 07, 2006

Paradise Awaits...

One more day we spent in Vientiane. Hiring more wee scooter things, and going about the place at night. Turns out once the lights go out, the populace has some fun. Not in the "drunken sports fan" or "teenager/university student on the prowl" kinda way, but a "lets just enjoy the night in a relaxed fashion with someone I want to be with" kinda way. The park around the Memorial Monument (L'Arc de Triomphe) was positively teeming with families and couples, and people out to do a few laps. Running that is. It was quite a nice thing to see. (the whole family/couple/spending time together thing not the running part)

Anyway the following afternoon we were southbound onboard a VIP bus. Yep for USD15 we got to travel in some style. An almost fully reclining seat, blanket, free water, dinner and a movie. Kinda like a "drive thru movie" date but you didn't need a car.
Arriving in Pakse, getting off the bus proved to be quite an ordeal. There were a multitude of bus drivers, tuk-tuk drivers and god-knows-what drivers, all vying for your money. Walking off with your bag if you let it go. Gave "running the gauntlet" a new meaning. We were gonna stay the night but in the face of all the bustling drivers, we instead made a dash for a bus headed towards our final Lao destination. Don Det. All the blogs we had read referred to it as paradise.

So bags safely stowed on top of a rickety bus, sitting in seats that rocked with every motion, and garbage rolling round the floor doing its upmost to stick to your feet, we began our "3 hour" journey. Turns out time is relative in Lao. Bit like Maori time. Things start when they start, and you get there when you get there.
Being a public bus (of sorts) it stopped often, with young fullas outside trying to sell you food. At one point our driver got hungry so stopped the bus, got off and had a feed. Fine by me, I tried to get some sleep, valiantly ignoring the ants that were tickling my arms and legs in their search for food.

We finally arrived at the ferry "port" (bank with boats anchored by string to a tree or a peg in the ground) and were soon dashing across the Mekong to the small island in the area that is known as 4000 Islands (Si Phan Don).
And it is a small island. Walking across it takes bout half an hour. Course if I were to walk it, it would probably take twice that.
Scorching sun, heavenly hammocks, R'n R. Perfect. Paradise.

No comments: