Dolphins on the Mekong?!

Trip Start Jan 12, 2013
Trip End Feb 27, 2013

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Where I stayed
Don Det Bungalows & Restaurant Dondet
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  , Champasak,
Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kayaking was exhausting.  Just in case I forgot that I was near the equator during the sunny season, I thought I'd kayak in said sun for hours and hours.  I was fed a one egg omelet with tomotoes and onions and a baguette for breakfast.  Lunch as 2 cups of fried rice with chicken, another baguette and a thin slice of small watermelon.  That's it...from 8 am until after 5:30 pm when we arrived.  Not to mention we had to carry our kayaks up this sandy steep hill to load on the trucks so we didn't go over a waterfall.  It took 4 people to carry each kayak....we had around 10 kayaks.  It was a lot of work. 

A highlight was seeing the famed endangered Irrawaddy dolphins.  There are only two other places in the world these dolphins are found: Myanmar and Bangladesh, both of which have a more threatened population than the Cambodia/Laos population.  It is estimated there are only around 100 of them left in the Mekong.  They are believed to be reincarnated humans so they are not hunted or caught intentionally.  However, they were ruthlessly killed for oil during the Khmer Rouge reign and gill netting today takes its victims.  Really neat to see them swimming in the wild.  They are weird looking dolphins though--a rounded bulging forehead....guess I'm just used to Flipper. 

We went to a waterfall.  It was big.  Lots of water.  Can you tell this was in the afternoon when all I wanted to do was nap and eat?! 

I am exhausted.  I think I made myself sick.  The combination of the long two day travel, today's heat, exertion, lack of food, and not enough water did me in.  We arrived back on Don Det and I went to my bungalow and did some laundry.  By the time I did that and took a shower, I had a raging headache.  I drank 1.5 liters of water in less than an hour.  I took two IBuprofen.  I tried to go to dinner with the group (me, Gav, Amanda---an American from Maine traveling alone!, a German couple, and a Canadian gal), but felt so sick, I had to leave.  I collapsed in my bungalow with the crazy headache and a warm friend called nausea.  I took my miracle anti-motion sick pills and 30 min later I apparently fell asleep.  I woke up at 9:45 and felt tons better.  I went back to the restaurant---called Jasmine ironically---and got to finally eat. 

I was planning on leaving tomorrow headed north on a 10-12 hour bus ride, but I just don't know if I'm up for it.  I'm just exhausted---between the harrowing travels for two days, the extra long bike ride yesterday, and then today's kayaking...I think a hammock sounds pretty damn lovely! 
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Linda on

Yeah. Sounds like a bit like heat exhaustion or stroke. Glad you realized you needed fluids and rest. I agree a day or so of hammock relaxation and you will be ready to go again. As you said just go with it. It is your body telling you to take a break. It is after all the equator and I am pretty sure your body is not used to this. Please take care.

alan on

sounds like hammock time to me too ;) glad you're getting the full uncensored version of it all. Can't wait to hear all of your stories and "such wonderful sites to show us." Love the pics too, take care of yourself!

jware on

Thanks guys... I'm trying!

Carla on

I agree with your Mom. You have to take care of yourself. After our conversation today though, I think you are learning that. Relax and enjoy it! Don't torture yourself and come back home sick.

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