Friday, February 20, 2009

Tube Infinity and Beyond!

Day 343
We were up early again and headed out for breakfast with our journals. Both of us were very much behind. Our plan had been to spend a day here just writing and doing nothing, however, with our crazy Vietnam itin we decided to try and get a day back by combining two things today.

After a few hours of writing we headed to the tourist office to learn about renting tubes for the day. We had wanted to get dropped off a few km's further upstream and then drift down. The only way they would do it though is if we had someone follow us in a boat. About 40 minutes later we were dropped off upstream at the next village. Right away a bunch of naked children sprinted down to the beach and tried to take our tubes, they backed off though as soon as we said no.

The current is very strong in front of Moung Ngoi and we had expected it to be the same everywhere. This simply wasn't the case. There was almost no current where we were dropped off. We ended up swimming and paddling quite a bit. Both of us thought that there would be a current if we just got around the bend. Two hours later we were still looking for the current. At one point we got out on a beach and walked for a bit, this was much faster.

The scenery was amazing. I have a dry bag that you can take pictures through, but I don't want to chance it with my camera. Nicole has a picture phone that she doesn't mind if it gets ruined, so we brought it with us and took loads of photos. I just won't be able to see them until she goes home. For the most part we had the river to ourselves. An occasional fishing boat or water buffalo passed us by. We even saw some pigs.

Eventually we grew bored of paddling and had the boat driver start the engine while we held on. This cut out about an hour of floating. It wasn't too long after this that I got way to cold to stay in the water any longer. He pulled over so that I could get in the boat. Nicole kept floating to the end.

We had spent about 4 hours floating and in the end we were glad that the boat was there. We would have never made it back by dark if he hadn't been there. Apparently every time we get in a tube something goes wrong.

After showering we brought our journals out to dinner with us and spent the evening writing. We were visited by some hungry cats, a soon to be mother and a kitten. They didn't like each other so we gave them bits of Nicole's left over fish separately.

During dinner we met a very giggly Lao guy who convinced Nicole, and therefore me, to go to the one bar in town with him. We taught them how to play Uno, but when the lights were cut we headed back to our hut. We were careful to blow out any life threatening candles before falling asleep.

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