We got a mini bus mid morning from Pakse to the 4000 islands. This place had kind of gained a mythical image in my head, from the things people had told me. Like Laos as a whole before I got there I didn't hear one negative thing about the place from anyone who had been there. OOhh excepting the fact that the electricity is turned off at 10pm!!! having only been on since 6pm!!!!
The bus journey was a couple of hours, and we then transfered on to a a long boat, not to disimilar to that of the one in the picture ajoining this blog!!! The ride over the river was nice, however when we got to the otherside, my lack of balance or grace showed as I attempted to get off the boat with out capsizing it, I ended up only banging my head, it was to get worse on other boat trips.
After walking down the one main path on the side of the island we found a bungalow for all three of us to stay in, with one large double bed and a balcony, not quite looking over the river like all of the other bungalows but looking at a bush!!!! The bungalow was costing us $1 each, so I can't really complain. After settling we headed down the path to a bar/restaurant with an English guy serving (weirdly, well he wasn't serving weirdly, it was just weird that he was serving!!). We had lunch to the sound of a very excitable Italian guy, who was telling a couple of scousers, one who looked and sounded surprisingly like ringo star story, one about a man that had everyone laughing at him because know one understood him, the irony wasn't lost on either me or Jade. After lunch we headed down to the beach at the end of the island, a small thing, not over spectacular, but for Jade and I, it was a beach!!!! There was a water buffalo washing it's self on the beach as well and as the sun fell it wasn't too disimilar from that previously mentioned picture!!!
Having got changed we went and got dinner at a restaurant on the water, with an amazing amount of mosquitos around the lights. While walking back towards our bungalow or the English guys bar, I can't remember which (they were both in the same direction) we bumped in to a Swedish couple that Linnes had met earlier on her trip while she was with her boyfriend. Dennis and Lena turned out to be really nice people, Dennis a 29 year old, IT developer with hopes of moving to live in Bangkok very soon, and Lena a 21 year old, I think student of some capacity. Both spoke very good English. We went for a drink with them, as they were meeting back up with the group they were hanging round with on the island. That group, on that night included the crazy Italian guy, the two scousers, a stoned Fin, Shep a slaughter from Kendal, who over the next few days I was to find out was a very decent guy, and another ajoining table of girls, the two Swiss girls Romona and Cathrina, Monica an Italian living in London and a girl from Abbots Langley (thats a 10 minute drive from where I live!!!).
We had a great night on the beer Laos talking to new people, about new things. At ten when the bar shut everyone headed down to the beach that we had been at earlier on for a bon fire. After a few hours the bon fire was surrounded with people, some people were having a good old sing song including Linnea nd Jade. I however, I've decided it's because of my lack of male company and lack of such discussions with Jade, got in to a debate with Dennis and a very dull Canadian about how Laos was both Communist and Buddhist, before moving on to a chat with Cathrina the nice Swiss girl from Basle and a dick we'd met earlier on the beach from Zurich (neither I or Cathrina who his name, so in later conversations we refered to him as the dick) about whether Switzerland is a very racist country. I bought the point up, really just attempteing to get a reaction from the dick, but also out of interest. My personal experience of Switzerland although only brief, consisted of white Europeans. The airport was the only place I saw any one of colour and I, at my drunk stage felt it neccesary to inform the Swiss of this point. The only dissapointment for me at that point was the bate wasn't taken and we actually had an ordally conversation about it. It turned out to be a great night!!!!!