DAY 293: From Van Vieng to London…

I just bumped into this draft from the last days of my trip more than 7 months ago now. I post it now.

Hello my friends…

when I think what has happened between Van Vieng  and London, I can only smile…it seems it is so far away in time and space…anyway let me try🙂

I left Van Vieng with Stephan and Francoise, and two more back packers decided to join the hitch-hiking-rice field-hut-sleeping-expedition…so now we were 5 persons to hitch hike with our backpacks, and guess what? Only in Laos you could be successful!

It took us two days to arrive to the capital of Laos Vientiane, we could have arrived on the same day as we left Van Vieng, but our intentions were to camp somewhere around Nam Ngu, an artificial lake a little bit north of the CApital. On the first day we didnt make it to the lake, and we had a hard time to find a hut to squat on the way, so we finished sleeping in a Buddhist temple, after asking the monks  if it was ok with them…which it was!

There were two novices of less than 10 years in the temple, and we were playing with them on the river that passed by the temple…we couldnt speak lao and they couldnt speak english, but as so many times before, this did not matter, we spoke the universal language that everybody understands

…at night these  two young novices prepared for us the place for sleeping,sweeping the floor and placing some thin rugs on wich we could sleep more confortable. The place was a terrace on top of the river we had been swimming, at the side of a  commemorative stone, this terrace was  higher than the rest of the place surrounding us so we expected it to protect us from snakes and other short of “intruders”…

after dinner and an untasty noodle soup “I” prepared we all went to sleep, while we were placing our sleeping bags and blankets on top the rug, we saw it: a huge column of ants just passing at the side of the rug…but what else could we do? or either the ants on the terrace, or the snakes on the fields surrounding the temple….so we decided to give the ants a chance, maybe they wouldnt bother us no?

WEll. My head started itching, and when I put on my light lamp I saw a huge column of ants going directly to my head…and they were not small…as you can never win against ants, I decided to surrender and retreat. I went to the place where we made the fire, out of the terrace, but hopefully the snakes would not bother, and they didnt, good luck if it wouldnt had been becouse the place was full of mosquitoes…at the end I was able to sleep with my raincoat wrapped around my head…I could hear the mosquitoes all around me…waiting for me to make a mistake and let them some space to suck my blood….

the following morning, we headed towards the lake, which was much more impressive than what we expected: inside the lake there were a lot of small islands…not more than 100 meters long….We decided to spend one day on one of this islands, completely alone except for us…we convinced a sailor to take us over there, and told him to pick us up at 8 oclock the following morning.

At the island we were happier than ever. It was our island! 70 metre long 30 metres wide just for the 5 of us….we spent the rest of the day fishing bringing wood for building up the fire, preparing our place to sleep…it was so funny, the five of us fishing at the side of the lake…30 seconds after we placed the first hook, it got stuck so I went to check what was going on…I was  diving under the water the fishing thread was stuck below some seaweed, so I started pulling it up…and then Tarraaaaaaaaaaaa!!! A fish! there was a fish!!! So I got my head out of the water and told everybody! And nobody would believe it!!! After 30 seconds we catched our first fish!!!

Our first and last one, becouse we weere not lucky anymore for the next hours, but it was great grilling the fish on the fire that night…YES. WE WERE MIGHTY FISHERMAN!

That night, I decided to place my mosquito net, and the only place that I found it possible was tying the top part to a tree branch…not a good idea to sleep under the tree guys…dont do it:

At a certain momment in the middle of the night, when I was trying to make myself more comfortable on my place, I felt a strong sting on my left arm and my right hand…no idea what it was but it itched like crazy…I got out of the sleeping bag as fast as I could and I asked for a lamp to my friends that were sleeping several meters away…

I went back to the place where I was sleeping, and after checking carefully with the lamp all the blankets, I saw it:

It was a FUCKING SCORPION. I had been stung not ONCE but TWICE by a scorpion, in the middle of nowhere, in this small island where no one lived except my friends, and we had to wait until 8 oclock in the morning before someone would come to pick us up!

Somehow, I didnt freaked out. Actually, when I saw the scorpion it was not a surprise, in my head I had already thought about this possibility…so I did what I could: I warmed some water in the fire, and cleaned the wound with it. After I took a couple of painkillers, and another couple of  pils I was given against poison 8 months before when I had been badly stung by  jellyfish, and took a place to sleep between two of our friends…

Thankfully, the scorpion was not a dangerous one, and after a couple of days the sting didnt even hurt!

I went afterwards all the way from Vientiane to Pakse by sleeping bus, where we rented some motorbikes and crossed the bolivan plateau for a couple of days, again sleeping in huts, in one of them we were attacked by ghosts!!

The last days I stayed in Cambodia, went to Siam reap  and saw Angkor wat, where I went into my knees and thanked buddha for all his help…so many things have happened.I had been so lucky!

Anyway, I cant continue writting. I dont feel like it.

Jose

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