If I had known that we would be biking 15km today, I would not have got out of bed! We were both a bit sore from the activities of the day before so I had a bit of a late start and a lazy morning catching up with my writing and photos and chatting to a fellow traveller I met at the cafe.
We had agreed to meet Wong at 3 in the afternoon for a short bike ride to visit a local cave. The ride was through spectacular country and we walked across an amazing bridge to climb a steep stairwell that led up to the cave we were to visit. The views from up the mountain were spectacular and we almost had the place to ourselves which was very special.
I know many people who say once you’ve seen one cave you’ve seen them all. Same, same – but different. I like to focus on the different….have a look! We’ve rented the bikes for the evening so we decide to visit the surrounding villages. We somehow end up on a 15 km bike ride but it is spectacular scenery and we forget about our sore limbs as we take it all in!
Shouts of “Sabadi”, greet us everywhere as the kids run out to wave hello! We shout back – there is no better way to experience South East Asia than on a bike. We see beautiful green paddy fields, fisherman casting their nets and get a taste for everyday life in the village.
We stop to chat to a lady weeding her garden and gaze in amazement at the bunch of bananas on her tree! I have grown up with banana trees in my garden but never encountered something like this! Is it a freak of nature or a Lao special? I didn’t get to the bottom of that!
We return exhausted but there is one more experience we want to enjoy before our long bus ride tomorrow to Luang Prabang and that is a traditional Lao massage. After a quick shower we are back on the trail in search of somewhere we can treat our aching bones. We were not disappointed. As she rubbed her oils and cracked my bones and massaged each aching limb I reflected on my time in Laos so far and smiled. What a surprising, awesome destination this has turned out to be!
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson