We are all... like fish.

Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 24, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Xékong,
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

After breakfast we meet Judith and rent three Honda bikes for 50,000Kip per day. The bikes make it clear to us that the ones we had to do the loop were rubbish and these ones are relatively new and easier to drive. We leave Pakse at midday, fill up our tanks and then Jo starts driving on the wrong side of the road. Lots of beeping and yelling and strange looks from locals, and she corrects herself. Good start. 

Smooth roads and good bikes make the ride e\very enjoyable, however after about 20km out of Pakse, it starts to rain. Hard. Claire stops and puts on her mac, whilst Judith and Jo get drenched. We manage to stop at a roadside cafe (a bamboo hut) for a drink and to wait for it to stop.

The rest of the drive to Tat Lo (70km) goes without a hitch. We drive through several villages and the kids wave like mad, at one point we pass a group of about 20 little boys. One of them spots us and dramatically points at us with mouth wide open. Instantly the other boys turn around and run towards the road screaming and waving. The views of open plains, mountains in the distance and coffee plantations are beautiful.

We arrive down a small rocky path off the main road, to Tat Lo. It is a beautiful quiet village that sits on two sides of a river. Up to the east of the bridge that links the 2 halves is the biggest waterfall we have seen yet and we plan to go and have a closer look once we find a room.  

We find a nice place called Tim's guesthouse, Claire and Jo get a hut and Judith does also, although the bamboo walls in hers are at an angle, they are very sweet. Opposite the guesthouse is a small school, library and computer room built by the owner of the guesthouse. (Who is probably not called Tim.) 

We take a stroll to the waterfall and walk through some wooded area around the side to get a closer look and dip our feet. On the way we pass a man on an elephant and some hidden homes and guesthouses. When at the river we start having an in depth conversation about western culture and how people don't talk to each other on public transport. Judith says, in her Swiss-German accent, "Yes, on the bus in Switzerland I look at everyone and I think, we are all... like fish." We like Judith. 

We finish the evening with dinner, beer and Judith's introduction to Lao Lao and shithead.   

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