Drifting Along the Mekong.
Pakbeng Travel Blog› entry 53 of 105 › view all entries
November 14th, 2009 – by: louietravels
Luckily i woke naturally on time. Bought myself two baguettes, a whole packet of Oreos and water. Checked the internet and was horrified to find out the Springboks and Proteas had both lost! And in addition, Tech N9ne, my favorite hip-hop artist was playing in England for the first time while i was away! Anyhow, i got to my boat where i ended up having two seats to myself and settled down, ridding my mind of that truly terrible news. The thick mist hung over the river as with every morning but soon it broke through as we set off along the river. The Slow Boat really was slow but it was such a lovely lazy 10hour trip, passing beautiful hills, sandy white banks and fisherman who paddled out to their various nets to check for any fish. Everyone was taking it easy. Life seems so slow on the Mekong. Children played in the water and a girl led her cattle over the rocks as the sun set. We arrived at dark, and struggled to make it up a sandy steep slope with our loaded backpacks. The town wasn't particularly great and it was the first spot i was offered drugs in Laos, although i have to say they offered it in such a friendly way. But the accommodation was cheap and it was only a stop over. The gamble of market food from the previous night had ended badly and my stomach was playing up for the second time this trip. I ordered a ginger tea and ate some plain bread with a banana. Chatted briefly to an Irish chap who was thinking of taking the speed boat for the next leg as he wanted to be in Thailand early the next day. I needed to be as well in order to arrive in Bangkok in safe time for my flight. There were six of us which was enough to book a boat which we did. 180,000 opposed to 100,000, but quarter of the time at 2.5hours. I had read though that it was dangerous and "deaths are not uncommon" with one or two a year. I headed down to the rivers edge and was rewarded with the first star-filled sky of my trip. It was stunning, one of the best night skies i have ever seen. Truly spectacular and the setting added to the magic. It called for a cigar. Out came my Havana which i had saved for a special time. This seemed like one. I sat with my eyes fixed on the night sky. Lighting up the cigar, i blew rich smoke into the cold air and the aroma flooded my nose. The ash grew long as my eyes grew tired. I cut off the cigar and headed back to bed. The stars light imprinted in my mind.
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