The river wild...
Trip Start Jan 22, 2008
101Trip End Sep 30, 2008
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Tuesday night ended at some sort of Pagan dance fest called Smiles Bar where drunken Westerners danced madly round open fires. I probably had slightly too good a time and somewhat lost my bearings, resulting in me stumbling back to the guest house at about 8am despite the fact that Vang Vieng is tiny and Smiles closed at around midnight.
Simon woke me after about two hours so that we could jump on a tuk tuk for the short drive to the river. My delicate condition (I felt like porcelain) was not improved my me smashing my leg on a sharp rock at the first bar into which we were hauled. Fortunately, Florence Nightingale (in the form of the bar woman) was on hand to pour about half a bottle of the 60% proof Lao Lao spirit into the wound before taking some moss off a rock, chewing it for a while and cramming it into my leg
The entire day involved floating slowly down the shallow river (apparently the cruise is much faster in the wet season) and being dragged into various bars by staff with sticks. Complimentary Lao Lao is available in each bar, as well as zip lines into the river. It doesn't take a genius to appreciate that copious amounts of alcohol, a river and heights is a potentially dangerous combo and before long most participants could be seen floating face down on the verge of drowning. Possessions are carried in waterproof bags but Simon and I only hired one and, after being separated, I was forced to exchange my watch for a beer - much to the amusement of other people in the bar. When the effects of the alcohol began to wear off on Wednesday night, I was pretty annoyed at no longer having a watch so it was with absolute delight that about half way down the repeat voyage yesterday I was dragged into a bar by a man laughing heartily and pointing to his wrist, who presented me with my watch and a bucket of Lao Lao.
The temptation is there to hit the water for a third successive day but we really need to leave tomorrow and the mere prospect of a nine hour bus journey in my current condition is enough to bring tears to me eyes...