Camping in Laos?!
Trip Start Jan 01, 2011
41Trip End Mar 21, 2011
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We drove for about 2 hours from Vientiane and stopped in town prior to going out to the national park where the waterfalls are located. We had to buy enough food for lunch, dinner and breakfast the next morning as there is nothing out there with the exception of a park ranger's hut and toilets.
When we arrived, we walked around the waterfalls which were really dry at this time of year (we are currently traveling in the dry season) as the rangers set up our tents
Later in the afternoon, we went on a group trek on a nature trail. It turned out to be very peaceful and was more what I expected for our Chiang Mai trek. The path was flat with a couple small hills and there were 4 bridges for us to cross.
When we returned from our hike (which only took us 45 minutes while the sign said 1-2 hours), we all sat around the fire. Jeff and a fellow traveler tried to make fire by rubbing bamboo together but were unsuccessful. This fellow traveler, who is a bit of a character, made his own soup over the campfire, so we all watched this progress.
Later into the evening it was time for the nude photo. You did read that correctly. As part of Stray’s advertising in Asia, they are putting together a nude calendar. This is apparently quite popular in the UK. The two guides and two other travelers participated and posed in front of the Stray bus with a guitar, Beerlao and patapples. Everyone found this quite hilarious
As the fire died down and the evening wore on, we enjoyed the night sky. Camping with no nearby lights allowed us a spectacular view of the stars.
When we headed to bed, we quickly got into the tent to make sure that no bugs followed us. Once inside there was a really strange sound coming from under the floor of the tent. It sounded like sheets of rain hitting the tent. We got out and had a look. Turned out there was a big swarm of ants under the tent. Jeff relocated the tent and we had to put parts of it back together. As I grabbed the tent cover, one of the ants ended up on my finger and it pinched me! I was not pleased – two ant pinchings in one day two too many. After checking that there were no ants inside the tent, we headed off to sleep on our thin sleeping mats and bags without pillows.