Is winter approaching?
Trip Start May 20, 2010
195Trip End Sep 05, 2011
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Day : 169
Temperature : Hasn't been this low for months....
Weather : Cold enough for Goosebumps!
The wind woke us at about 3am as it howled through the trees and sent debris crashing around outside. Then the cockerels started crowing at about 4am. By 5am the local kids were up and about making full use of their vocal chords. Don't you love 'em?! At 6am I’d had enough and we reluctantly got up and ordered breakfast which never came. At 7am the bemo arrived but the restaurant owner didn’t understand the concept that we wanted our money back for the food that we didn’t get
We squished ourselves in beside all the locals who were also on the bemo, and after a bone shaking one hour ride along dirt track roads we finally arrived in Pakse. We haggled down the price of a tuk-tuk ride into town where we had breakfast. We were then were ripped off by another tuk-tuk driver when we asked to go back to another bus station. From there we caught a public bus to a village called Tat Lo on the slopes of the Bolaven Plateau. The first thing we noticed was the drop in temperature. I had three layers on including my fleece and socks and I swear I could still feel my core temperature dropping every minute! The thermometer said it was 27 degrees but I’m sure I could see my breath in the air and there may even have been a slight frost on the ground!!! Ahem…
It took approximately 3 hours for us, along with another couple, to find ourselves a room for the night. There seemed to be a shortage of rooms in the village. Perhaps the high demand for rooms has meant that the standards and quality of rooms has plummeted. Or perhaps it’s because the locals couldn’t really care, but the rooms we found were pretty dire to say the least. From dilapidated shacks with holes in the roof and shared bathrooms, to more upmarket rooms with great views but beds that are literally harder than concrete (because there is no mattress) and which cost a fortune
Eventually we found a semi-decent room with shared bathroom. We asked Tim, the owner of our guesthouse what information there was to see in the area….according to our guide book there was a wealth of info at this guesthouse. Tim informed me that he had no information and gave me a "map" of the area which had been printed off a computer and was absolutely useless. Not a single suggestion of what to see was offered. We took a wander around the area and visited some waterfalls and chatted with some local kids, then returned to our room for a siesta before going out for dinner.
We went out to eat with Kate and Danny, the Scottish couple who we’d been searching for rooms with. It turns out that Kate is from Broxburn and went to St. Nicholas Primary which is the same school that I attended….small world!! We had a lovely evening chatting with them over dinner then promptly got chucked out of the restaurant at 10pm because it was closing. As we wandered back to our rooms Kevin and Danny managed to buy some beer from a random house on the street. Whilst the boys sat up until the cockerels started crowing Kate and I turned in a little earlier. I only just managed to stay warm, sleeping in my sleeping bag liner, fully clothed, with the blanket on top….