It has rained almost non-stop the last couple of days, but I decided to go ahead and book a kayaking trip. There was also a hiking trip available, but I thought the kayaking trip sounded more fun, especially after my last hiking experience.
Since it has been raining most of the past two days and through the night, the water was moving pretty fast. The kayaks were pretty buoyant so there wasn’t much chance of coming off.
The first stop was to see the water and elephant cave. To get to the water cave we had to go through a rice paddy. My sandles have no grip left on them (Thailand cheapies), so I took them off and instead of falling into the rice paddy I walked straight through it in the mud.
We got to the water cave and saw some people coming out. It was actually a little difficult to even see the entrance of the cave. One girl who had just come out, said how relieved she was to get out as she started to feel claustrophobic and felt like she couldn’t breath.
Shit, I thought, but when you are in a group with other people you don’t want to be the one backing out and you always know you will regret it later. So I get my tube to sit in and flashlight which you strap to your head – grab the rope and pull myself into the cave. The roof of the entrance is pretty low and is probably not more than a foot high.
We were supposed to go around 200 meters into the cave. Rather than feeling anxious I ended up feeling relaxed and just enjoyed myself pulling myself upstream through the cave. At one place we left the tubes behind and started crawling along and then wading through the river.
We were then free to explore on our own but I didn’t feel like going to far. We then made our way back and since we had done a loop, coming back was pretty easy. We then had a BBQ lunch on the river, feeding the chickens our left over rice.
The sun had come out a bit by this stage so the ground was a little drier and I didn’t have to walk in the rice paddy, although I still found it easier to walk bare foot. I was pretty much caked in mud by now, but it was fun.
Back in the kayaks again we paddled through magnificent surroundings – limestone cliffs and forests surrounding us. The people living in these areas are basically subsistence farmers, growing just enough for their family/village.
We stopped off at an organic farm which grew mulberries. Our next stop was what they call “jumping bar”. There were a few bamboo huts, with a full on bar and music. It was pouring with rain again but groups of people played volleyball outside in the mud. They had flying foxes going across the river, which I suppose was a Laos version of the bungey jump. I was happy to just enjoy a beer.
On we went past more bars along the river, but I think everyone was now keen to back and have a hot shower. I am bit sore in the shoulders and sun burnt a little, but it was another great day in paradise.