Thursday, February 19, 2009

We Didn't Start the Fire

Day 342
We were up early and wandered down the road for some breakfast. We also managed to order baguette
sandwiches to go. Nicole ordered chicken and got some bread with bits of chicken, I ordered cheese and yam, thinking it was ham, but it was cheese and jam.

It didn't take us long to find the trail we wanted to spend some time exploring. We followed it through a small school yard. About 15 minutes later we came to the place that we had to pay an entrance fee at. We met an Israeli couple here that raved about a place to swim in the nearby cave. We went exploring but gave up when it got to the point that we would be in pitch blackness and up to our knees in water. We later found out that they had to go quite a bit further to find the swimming hole.

The trail wasn't too bad, but there were some tricky areas. My left foot isn't quite back to normal so I was very careful with it. At one point we had to take off our shoes and wade across a few inches of water. The scenery was beautiful, but as it is the dry season it was had a burnt quality to it instead of being lush green.

Everyone else on the trail seemed to have a guide. We wondered if we had made a big mistake, or if we were the smart ones. We managed to make it to our goal, the small village of Huay Bo, on our own, so I guess we were the smart ones. We ignored the first restaurant and followed signs to one at the other end of town. I don't think that people often make it here. When Nicole ordered fried rice and veggies they had to run out to either pick or buy the veggies. Lunch was really good and filling after the long walk.

At this point we could have carried on for another hour to a waterfall, but we were both a bit tired and decided to just head back. We passed some crazy French women who were both wearing heels! I wonder if they made it?

By the time we got back to Moung Ngoi we were both sweating. We picked the most difficult path to the river and Nicole jumped in. The current was too strong though so after a bit we walked the long and easy way back to our hut through the village. We did the best to wash the dust our of our clothes and ourselves.

For dinner we picked the most well lit place we could find, we had some planning to do. We are traveling with different guidebooks and we compared the places they both recommended in Vietnam. Quickly Vietnam went from a place to spend two weeks to a place that we would need visa extensions for. It was just daunting.

Around 9:30 we headed back in the darkness and tried not to scream when the dogs barked at us. We lit a couple of candles and chatted for a bit. We were both pretty exhausted and soon fell asleep. Only one candle was left at this point, and just the end of it.

A few minutes later I woke up to a strange noise and saw that flames were falling from our make shift plastic candle holder to the things we had piled below it. It took me a second to access the situation and I woke up Nicole. We both stayed in our beds and tried to blow out the small fire from there. It wasn't until I realized that this wasn't working that I got out of bed and blew out the flames.

The next morning we were able to survey the damage. Our candle holder had caught on fire and some of the wood of the beam below it was also burnt. I must have got it out just in time. I guess this is why you should never fall asleep with a candle burning.

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