Attacked by turkies and mauled by a goat

Trip Start Nov 15, 2005
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Trip End Aug 15, 2008


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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, April 13, 2007

Since I really hadn't been spending enough time lazing around reading
recently (maybe), I thought a few more relaxed days in another sleepy
little part of Laos would do me good. Tat Lo fit perfectly.

A
tiny town of simple stilt huts (and enormous satellite dishes) on the
Bolaven Plateau, it was pleasantly cool after the heat of the 4,000
islands and Pakse, and when it did get a little too warm, the
picturesque waterfall just outside of town made for a good
place to cool off. Besides soaking up the quiet village atmosphere and
taking the occasional swim, there really wasn't much to do here. I
liked it. Having a good, small group of other travellers about the
place helped, I think.

On those rare moments when I felt the
need to leave my improbably-angled hut, there were plenty of small
trails to follow, though I didn't meet with much success on any of
them. Attempting to climb a nearby mountain, I got to the base (about
an hours walk from town) and then received a thorough soaking from a
(not entirely unexpected) downpour, then gave up on the attempt - wet
sandals do not make for good mountain hiking footwear. Especially not
if they have been mauled by a goat. A word of warning - if you happen
to be in a restaurant and have to leave your shoes outside, don't leave
them anywhere near some fruit. The goats that wander freely about the
town seem unable to distinguish between the two, at least not until
they had severely chewed one of the pair.
After that lack of
success, I decided an easier walk through some local villages might be
a better idea. It would have been, were they not populated by guard
turkeys. Somehow, the local minority tribes here have trained their
turkeys to distinguish between locals and falang, and to attack the
latter. Don't ask me how, I didn't hang around long enough to ask. All
I know is I will enjoy my revenge come Christmas time!

The quiet
sleepiness of Tat Lo didn't last long. A couple of days after I
arrived, the Laos New Year celebrations began. Less extravagant here
than in other parts of the country (little in the way of water
splashing), it all began with the procession of the Buddha from the
temple to the waterfall to be cleansed for the new year. This ritual
would probably have gone more smoothly had someone not driven the
wrong way down the road along which they were attempting to parade, and
held the whole thing up by about 20 minutes as they argued about who
should back up. Beyond that, the festival took the form of much live
music and street stalls and hundreds of people from the surrounding
area crowding a town used to only a few dozen inhabitants. Mostly quite
entertaining, but not when the music started at 5 in the morning from a
speaker not more than a dozen yards from my hut. I'm not a morning
person, especially not when I have no choice in the matter. It was a
good few days, but the prospect of at least two more days of Lao pop
music and the need for a decent nights' sleep drove me onwards.
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