We arrived in Pakse at 7am after our oh so wonderful disco night bus :) check out in all guest houses and hostels is normally around 10ish so we had a few hours sat in a cafe drinking the thick sweet lao coffee. We wanted to stop off here on route to the south because there is a trip you can do where you zipline in the jungle and stay in tree houses but when we eventually found the place that organises it they told us it was all fully booked for the next 5 days, so that really pooped up our plan as there was no way were were hanging around all that time. At that point we thought we would move on the next day, Pakse is quite small but really busy with traffic and not that much happening unless you are going on the jungle trip, however we got talking to a couple who told us about these places you can hire a motor bike to. So we went straight to the rentle shop and got ourselves a sexy ride for two days.
Our first trip on the bike was to some old temple ruins, Paul you would have loved it. There were some ereally old stone steps that lead right up to an old temple, when you eventually reached the top there was a really calm peaceful feeling, almost spiritual. The ride up took about an hour and a half and once Damo had very wareally weaved his way through the city traffic we had an open road that was really quiet so made for a really nice trip. We had our helmets but were just wearing shorts and t-shirts, something we would never dream of doing back at home but i dont think they have even heard of let alone seen bike leathers over here. And thats a whole other thing, there sems to be zero road law out here. We asked someone what the 'legal' age was to ride a bike and its 18, we have seen kids that look as young as 10 riding bikes, and then you get the people who take thier whole families on the back of a bike, mom, dad, baby, grannie. They drive slower but still, a baby?? ?
So day two on the bike and we are off to find some waterfalls, there are 3 main ones about an hours drive from Pakse, they were all beautiful, we went to swim in one but it was so so freezing! we got waist deep and then almost like someone had flipped a switched it clouded over, so that made the whole process even more unappealing and we scamperd out quick! 15 minutes later and the switch had been flipped again and the cloud dissapeard. It was this day that i stupidley got of the bike on the wrong side, the exhaust on bikes over here is just out and on the right hand side, the side i decided to get off and burnt a big fat hole in my leg, ouchey!!! you could actually see the circular mark on the exhaust where my skin now was...nice.
We found a market where we stocked up on some fruit, its not as available as we thought it would be out here, so when there is a market we buy loads, apples, grapes, and pinapple, the pinapple out here is just the sweetest lushest pinapple, we love it! we had also been seeing loads of peanuts, but still in there shells and fancied giving them a go, so we found this skinny old Laos lady who looked as though she had been on the smoke a little too much, she bagged up some nuts for us but when we opend the bag they were all soggy and wet, we presumed they were off so dumped the whole bag. we found another place that sold them and asked if we could try one first, again they were wet so i asked why and they actually soak them in salted water...so they are meant to be like that. we love them now we know they are suposed to be like that, our new fave snack :)
It is really hot down here, finally we can feel the heat from the sun and not be having to go out in jumpers and scarfs, i have actually packed my cold stuff at the bottom of my bag, very happy moment :)
We have loved our two days staying in Pakse, we didnt think much at first but then after talking to some other people we ended up having a great time, we love just being able to do what we want and go where ever we like, having the time of our lives and sad that a whole month has passed already but still have loads of exciting stuff to come :) feeling blessed xxx