Andrew and I were both awake before 7am listening to the sound of pouring rain. I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to go if I woke up to rain as we really weren’t equipped for it. Andrew was of a similar opinion so we agreed to get out of Pakse and head for Tha Khaek where another ‘Loop’ of 3/4 days is situated.
I wouldn’t have the time to do the loop, but didn’t want to spend a rainy day in Pakse, we’d exhausted the sights the day before so figured I may as well spend it in the bus heading north in hope of better weather!
Andrew went to tell Eline of our plans and she wanted to come too, so while they got ready I went out and got baguettes for breakfast.
We were picked up at 7.30 for the 8am bus and taken to a random place where thankfully we could wait inside and out of the rain until it arrived.
The journey was on another local bus and was fine, had fun when the bus stopped as every time it was surrounded by women selling stuff on sticks. At one point though I spotted my new favourite, green mango, and bought some for myself and Andrew (Eline was sat with another Dutch girl we met in the bus!). Unfortunately, Andrew, who’d been sat with tummy ache most of the morning discovered his body’s aversion to mango and within seconds was being sick out of the window! An impressive skill!!
Feeling much better, the rest of the journey was uneventful!! Oh, except for finding out that while I’d had a cold shower this morning they’d both had lovely warm ones…. Wasn’t impressed!
When we arrived in Tha Khaek it was dark, raining and really cold, thankfully I’d got my jacket out of my rucksack that morning, more as rain protection than warmth but I’m so glad I did!!
It seemed strange to us but although there were lots of people around to take us to where we wanted to stay, only 1 man would take us, anyone else we asked insisted we went with him. So in the back of a mini sõrngtãaou there were 12 people with associated rucksacks. Actually, 11 people, 12 rucksacks and 1 poor man that had to stand on the tailgate and hold on to the roof out in the rain for our 10min journey to the Tha Khaek Travel Lodge, home of ‘the log’ containing all knowledge going back over many years of the loop.
Being last on, we were first off and Andrew and Eline ran on ahead to get us rooms while I paid for our lift.
As Andrew still wasn’t feeling 100% he wanted a private room so I shared with him while Eline was happy with a dorm, as it turned out they were the same price as our room turned out to be 30,000 kip cheaper than we were quoted.
I changed into dry clothes, my trousers were a tad wet from slipping and almost managing to do the splits while checking in…… Andrew, still feeling a bit rough, climbed into his bed and I offered to get him some food while he had a snooze. I think the staff were a bit stunned by my apparent hunger for spag bol and coconut noodles!!
The food was amazing, not sure if it was truly yummy, my hunger and/or the cold/rain but whatever I was happy and even drew Andrew from his bed to join me and Eline at dinner.
After eating and a brief chat I was ready for bed, climbed upstairs to discover that it was only 7:30 but too cold/tired to care. As I got out my sheet sleeping bag for an extra cosy layer Andrew decided to use his emergency foil blanket…. OMG every single movement was a massive rustle!! I chuckled every time he moved until he must have laid still long enough for me to stop laughing and fall asleep