Relaxation, Recovery, and other forms of Procrastination
Let me set the scene for you, I’m lying in a hammock, it’s a little overcast so it’s not ridiculously hot, there are small local boats motoring by on the Mekong, who is herself lying languidly above the waterfalls in all her tremendous, murky glory, dotted throughout with mounds of green, that make up the “4000 islands”, there are hens quietly clucking behind me, there’s a bird chatting away somewhere overhead, and everything is generally beautifully peaceful. Can you see why it’s so hard to motivate myself to write?? I could honestly lie in this hammock and watch life slowly go on around me for hours and hours, the last 2 nights I’ve even falling asleep in this hammock, listening to music, coated in insect repellent (fashionable backpacker perfume, deet by bushmans), wrapped in my sleeping bag liner, swaying in my cacoon.
The last 2 weeks have been hectic, and this has been the first time I’ve had time to relax and have some me time (I also no longer have the horrendously hairy legs I’ve had for the last 2 weeks, HALLELUA!!). Traveling in a group has been an interesting experience for me, and although I would have travelled slower by myself, and probably spent more time in the north, although missing the north of Laos is my only regret, it’s a good reason to come back! It’s also been super fun, most nights have involved card games, endless bad jokes, and good stories, and sometimes disagreements over where to eat and/stay, alongside the hilarity. It was a sad goodbye in Thakhek when the group split in half, these is the best and worst parts of making friends on the road…
Laos has been an amazing ride, and I’ve had so much fun, I’ll be leaving in a couple days I think, heading to the Cambodia border, from here (Don deit island), for Laos has been all about nature and stunning landscapes, and I would love to comes back and spend more time trekking and caving. Next time I’d love to get a motorbike for transport, as the roads and maps are decent here, and travelling at one’s own pace would be ideal, also buses are budget killers in Laos, I’ve been told this is because the country is landlocked it cost more to get fuel and food into the country.
I also find that information about the history of Laos is thin on the ground, I know a little about the recent conflicts, but of the French involvement in the eighteenth century, and Laos’s position on the Mekong as a strategic access point to China, in a time when the English colonized Burma (and saw the benefits of the Mekong), there isn’t as much information, I suspect historical literature on this region would be a most interesting read. But that may have to wait as I’m struggling with a book I have on the go currently (catch 22), National geographic just published an article on the Mekong that I highly recommend for a quick read, I really had no idea just how important and far reaching the Mekong really is, and freshwater biologists are gravely concerned as they believe this is the tipping point in time, if changes aren’t made for the better, the river may die, and before you all jump up and down about my “greenie stuff” this river supports 60 million people in 6 different countries. Once again the protection of the environment only serves to support mankind in the long-term, failing to do so [protect the environment] serves only selfish short-term intentions. Although travelling is fun, adventurous, educational, social, and generally just awesome, it also highlights for me just how dire the big picture is, the situation is pretty devastating, in the west we ‘mostly’ (not pointing fingers but Australia, America you need to sort your shit out), we talk about making changes soon, educating people for a better future, this isn’t even beginning to happen here in Asia, the worst thing is there shouldn’t even be a soon, because if we keep talking about soon, and tomorrow, and later, there will be no future, it will be to late, this should not be a discussion, this should be something that’s happening, right now……
Apparently, the Mekong has worked her magic on me, she is an awe-inspiring beast after all….
I really do recommend the Natgeo article though it’s a good read and both educational and interesting from ecological and global perspectives.
Ok that’s me for now I need to write everything else that’s happened between Vang Vieng and 4000 islands, so stay tuned for my one night in Vientiane all the fun ok the Thakhek loop and adventures on Don Det and Don khon.
Thanks for reading.
Til next time lovelies….. x