Sign in or Create your own Travel blog
Select Location: 

View Entire Trip

Share |
    

Monday 8 Jul 2013
Pakse, Laos

Lao lao bowling shenannigans

We made it safely back through the forest in the morning, paying for our passage with the last of yesterday's bananas. The songthau ride back out of the village was just as bumpy, but a bit quicker without the lake visit. Kye rode the bike with Tah the whole way, waving his Tiger bear mascot at us as he went past. (His grandad's rugby team mascot which Kye kidnapped before leaving home. Tiger bear now has his own Facebook page and had been photographed everywhere they go. He even had a ride on the back of one of the soft-shelled turtles yesterday.)
Most of us had passed on breakfast at the homestay so when we stopped for a snack late morning Kye and I bought a grilled chicken skewer from the roadside stall. This time, it was an entire chicken flattened out between the bamboo sticks - head, feet and all curled around and tied in place. It was actually not very easy to eat and contained a woefully small amount of meat. Obviously not the factory fed versions of chicken that we get used to at home.
Our lunch stop was a much nicer restaurant than the roadside stops we've had so far. After changing into our swimming gear, we headed down for a swim in the pool below a enormous waterfall. The only way down was by descending a treacherous set of steps carved into the hillside, supported by a very slippery hand rail, all the time getting soaked by the mist from the falls. There was a group of 5 monks swimming in their robes when we arrived. I guess everyone needs to cool off occasionally and they seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we were. Out of respect we waited until they had left before stripping off to our bikinis, though we might as well have just jumped in fully clothed because we were already soaked from the mist. The water was surprisingly warm but the current from the waterfall thundering down behind us was deceptively strong. Without really noticing it we were pulled gently but deliberately towards the waterfall, so had to keep swimming back towards the rocks. I had my GoPro and got the girls trying to do Herbal-Essences hair flicks in front of the waterfall. It was all going well until Krysia managed to flick her way out of her bikini top in front of everyone! Luckily only a few of the guys noticed and she covered it quickly, but nobody else wanted to try it after that, can't think why...? What a good job the monks had left by then! (Josh's reaction was the funniest, he just turned around and shook Kye by the hand - men!)
We climbed halfway back up the steps and had a group photo on the wooden lookout platform. It was a rickety affair and we weren't entirely convinced it would support 15 of us wedged into the balcony, but we managed it despite some self-timer shenannigans.
We made it to Pakse in the early evening to discover that the hotel had let half the rooms go, so only six of us could stay there while the others had to go off and find another hotel. Natalie and I shared a room again, but almost wished we'd gone over to the other hotel as we had a pretty awful room. The air con worked but was stuck on the coldest setting as the control was broken. Almost as soon as we checked in the handyman arrived to replace the shower hose for us. We asked him to sort out the remote control but he didn't seem particularly bothered that it didn't work. We had a fan attached to the wall too, but there was no power outlet anywhere near it so we couldn't use that instead.  I used the newly repaired shower and discovered that our wetroom style bathroom had a blocked drain, so the entire room ended up 2" deep in water which was still there two hours later. Natalie didn't dare shower in case the water flooded out into the bedroom too.

Despite staying at Fawlty Towers, Pakse turned out to be one of the best nights we had in Laos. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant with delicious food, then bundled into a tuktuk over to the bowling alley on the other side of town. Bowling shoes were optional and generally falling apart - Krysia could stick her whole food out through the hole in the seam of hers. We had three lanes between us and played with Lao-lao forfeit rules: Any gutter balls earned a sip of Lao-lao and a strike or spare earned a Lao-lao shot nomination for any other player. Krysia, Jill, Natalie, Megs and I were in the same lane and quickly decided to keep quiet about the gutter ball rule or we'd never reach the end of the first game. We had a glass of sprite on the table and sipped that instead when anyone was watching. The first game was fairly respectable, but as the beer and lao-lao flowed the behaviour degenerated into putting each other off, nicking the ball off the bowler's hand as they swung back and bowling down someone else's lane when they were getting ready. After the second time the boys bowled two balls at one, causing one ball to hit the barrier and freeze the machine, I thought the owners were going to kick us out, but they were laughing as much as we were. I'll never forget Carl triumphantly sliding halfway down the lane on his knees after bowling a strike despite Kye's attempts to put him off. I managed to pull out six strikes and spares in one game, but then threw it away with a gutter ball on the last bowl, after which Mike rumbled the fact we were drinking Sprite and made me do a proper shot of Lao-lao instead. Yuck! I think they were glad to see the back of us by the end of the third game. Almost everywhere in Laos there is a 11.30pm curfew after which bars stop serving and people are not allowed to drink outside. This probably did us a favour here or we'd have had considerably worse headaches the next day. Not only that, but it turned out the hotels also locked the doors at 11.30pm, so we had to do some sweet talking to be let back into both places. In our case, there was a big group of Vietnamese also locked out so we weren't the only ones slinking back in late.
Once again, Natalie and I had a late night flick through the TV channels and found the highlights of Murray's historic Wimbledon final so we sat up until 1.30am watching the game. Brilliant tennis and nail-biting to watch despite knowing the result.

0 Comments for this Travel blog entry

Zobeedoo's Big World Adventure, Part I

Travel blog by zobeedoo

Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman

Marahau Bridges, Abel Tasman


The first part of my trip will take in South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. I'm looking forward to seeing new places, revisiting some old places as well as meeting friends and family along the way.

visitors: 204,319

Currently in:

Orchard Road, Singapore

Buy this Blog on CD!  More...


Makes a great gift for anytime!

Photo Album

  • DSC_0164.JPG

    Fraser Island

    Australia

    DSC_0164.JPG
  • DSC_0160.JPG

    Fraser Island

    Australia

    DSC_0160.JPG
  • DSC_0156.JPG

    Fraser Island

    Australia

    DSC_0156.JPG
  • DSC_0149.JPG

    Fraser Island

    Australia

    DSC_0149.JPG