Getting Lost is Not a Waste of Time ~ Jack Johnson
Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
15Trip End Feb 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
vang vieng eco lodge
I am now in Vang Vieng, a town somewhat known for its days spent tubing down the river while visiting many river bars that are set up along the route with ropes thrown out to pull you in a entice you to have a " bucket" or two and it attracts the younger crowd to say the least, and as much as my daughter Sarah would of thought I was entirely " Cool" for joining in this rite of passage thru this part of Laos( or she would of been throughly embarrassed that I would join in :)
I decided for a Bike ride instead into the countryside , over the bridge to the other side of the river towards these amazing Limestone cliffs and caves.
The days here have been hot, I will not let myself once says those words...since I am so happy and grateful to be here in this nice , hot weather than back at home in Chicago where my friends are cold..( sorry about that
The roads were basically all rock, and big rocks at that, and even though I rented a mountain bike, it was tough riding, but I was determined to find a couple caves on my journey. It seems everyone in the world likes to stretch the truth on time,,,only 10 more minutes! We stop the bus for toilet in 5 minutes!! Ahhh, I have just learned that its probably about double that.
So, I see a turn off for the Buddha cave, and besides all the rocks, the ride is beautiful..as I ride I am surrounded with many butterflies, flying all around me, I feel like I'm in a dream. Then I get lost. I know that turning back will not get me to that cave, so after a few " 10 more minutes" from a few locals, I carry on.
I am close when a few men stop me that seem to work for the "Cave Department" to collect some Kip for my entrance ( I just made that up, I don't know if there is a Cave Department!) But I pay my Kip, and am told that I need to walk the rest of the way, and would I like to hire a guide?
I decline, feeling that how hard can finding a cave be? After about 15 more minutes, one of the Guides comes up beside me and said hes just walking that way as well
He knows that I , have nooo idea what I'm getting myself into, seeing me with no flashlight, and my sandals and sun dress on. We reach the cave, and I soon realize I'm a little over my head , so for 10000 Kip ( a little over a $1) I hire this guide to take me in the cave to see the Buddha.
Now climbing up Mt. Sinai in sandals,,,not so brilliant,,,caving in sandals...Really not so brilliant. But I came a long way, and I was going in.
My guide was small, and he had no problem crawling thru the tiny openings, me, well, there was no one else there besides us, and he didn't laugh at me! Her cave me one of the flashlights to put around my head, and let the way.
The Buddha was cool..how did they get it in there? His English was limited, so I may never know.
Not wanting to spend any more time with Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica and Phoebe in the town of Vang Vieng ( they play endless re-runs of friends in all the bars and restaurants..Why? I really don't know, maybe after a day of endless tubing, some minds are spent?)
I decided to stay my last night out of town at a place called Vang Vieng Eco Lodge. It was about 15 minutes out of town, and a world away. Perched up on a hill , overlooking the river, I felt like I was staying in a cabin in the Swiss Alps. All for $20 a night..includes breakfast!
I met the nicest girl from Austria who came and hung out with me for the day in my little paradise, we floated in some tubes in the swimming hole out in front of my place and pretended to be younger than we were, it was a great day.