... or Not
13.05.2008 - 14.05.2008 34 °C
All hell breaks loose in the tummy of jokar.
The trek started innocently enough, with a late pick-up (Lao time, still better than Indian time), a 2-hour van ride to the trekking village, and a very enjoyable long-tail boat ride to the starting point.
The company was pretty wacky, since there were 4 other people who signed up for the trek, apart from myself and Tan. To that number, add water buffaloes (which appeared sporadically) and hundreds of butterflies. All was fine and dandy, UNTIL...
The trek itself started with a steep climb up the side of the, well, mountain. And when I say steep, I mean STEEP. By my estimation, it was probably at least a 45 degree angle most of the way that I lasted, which was maybe, 10 minutes at best? Post-10 minutes, I was breathless, cramping in the legs, and feeling nauseous. After sitting there for a few minutes (it felt like forever though, I was hardly breathing), everything that had gone in in the last 4 hours promptly made its exit from my system. Not a pretty sight.
Basically what followed was a lot of fanning, patting on the back, and encouragements to "Breathe mate, Breathe!" Finally, while the others carried on with the trek, I was sent on my way down with the local guide to take the boat back, in the hopes that I will recover and take the van up to the waterfall. Unfortunately, that was not to be. The van driver left the village as soon as we left on the boat, and due to bad phone reception, they were unable to get the van driver back. So I spent the whole afternoon lying on a mat in a typical village house, sleeping and eating lunch. Some other more exciting stuff happened also, but I'll leave that to my diary.
That aside, we had a nice traditional Lao massage yesterday evening (13th May, Monday). It started off pretty awkward at first, because all the masseurs were male! But they were professional, avoiding all potentially controversial movements, while still giving one of the best massages ever. The good thing about having a guy give a massage is that, well, he has enough strength to pinch you, push you and whack you as hard as you want. Compared to Thai massages, which I love for its bending-you-over-backwards moves, were the bend-you-over-backwards moves.
Tomorrow morning we'll be leaving for Luang Prabang, so it's off to the bed for me. Another 10 hours of travel awaits.