27th - 30th June 2009
First we stopped at Dong Khong and found there wasn't much around so Matt and I rented some ridiculously clapped out scooters and rode them around the island like we had stole them. We rode down single tracks jumped them and dodged water buffalo and chickens then headed back to drink some beer but on the way I ran out of petrol. We made a hook out of a branch and Matt towed me back to town. That was the first time I have ever ran out of petrol but the gauges were all smashed so it wasn't my fault.... right?
After we made it back we sat around on the balcony drinking rice wine and coke with Nikki and Sian and I found that the rice wine doesn't give me a hangover and the taste is easy to get used to, best of all its cheap.
When we arrived at Dong Det, the other island we visited in the region, we were attacked by mad fire ants when we got off the boat. Everyone started to freak out because our boat driver put the bags on a chopped up tree and when we picked them up the ants were all over us. Nikki has some serious ants in her pants. There are two bars that were overlooking us and everyone was watching and grinning so after we got the ants off us Nikki and Sian went to look for a place to stay and Matt and I perched ourselves at one of the bars to have a drink and watch the next load of people arrive and get attacked.
They found a great place to stay overlooking the water so we watched a beautiful sunset together and listened to music before the almost daily thunderstorm roared through.
Very early (7am is early on holiday) there were a constant stream of long boats going past with unsilenced motors roaring by our cabin. Sian said later she heard my call for them to 'Shut Up' but they sure didn't.
One day we hired some bikes to ride down to the waterfall and also to see the Irrawaddy Dolphins. The waterfall wasn't high but with the whole of the Mekong flowing through it was still very impressive. Then we made our way down to a small beach where we caught a long boat down to see the Irrawaddy dolphin. We could hardly see them in the distance but it was still pretty cool as they swim in fresh water, are pink, tiny and odd shaped with a large melon.
On the way back the bikes were driving everyone crazy as the chains kept coming off and chain guards made it very hard to get your fingers in so I 'cracked it' and tore it off.
This was our last stop in Laos and a really great end to our time spent in this beautiful country (even if the sidewalks are lacking and the pigs blood soup isn't that nice!).