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Archive for February, 2012

Tad lo fall

Tad Lo, on the Bolaven Plateau of Southern Laos – Waterfalls, scenery, relaxation. Or So I thought. Well it was good while it lasted….

Dry waterfallThe day started off pretty normal – Rent motorbikes, drive up to see some waterfalls, find somewhere to swim, eat, drink.  Exactly the kind of things I dream about when on holiday.  We drove straight up to The largest and furthest away waterfall.  But this being the dry season, and a newly built hydro-electric dam, meant no water.  Shame, this was a huge fall that would have been spectacular if there was even a little water – What little water was falling was strangely being blown back up and over the fall by the wind, or simply evaporating before it hit the bottom.

IMG_2578After this we hit our first snag – Paul’s bike ran out of petrol, but this was easily fixed with a run down to the local petrol station.  Right after this though we take a drive to the Tad Lo falls, where we think we’ve hit the jackpot.  A wide 4m high fall, with crystal clear water for swimming, right along a precarious bamboo ladder/bridge thing.  Beautiful.  We spend Half an hour swimming, managing to navigate ourselves right behind the falls and back again.

Swimming is tiring though, and I try to get out of the water to rest for a bit.  The rocks are slippy though, and I feel something under my foot.  I try to move away but slip on the rocks.  As my foot runs the length of the random object I can feel a hole tear in the sole of my foot – But no pain.  Just the kind of feeling you get when a really sharp object cuts you quickly.

gillan getting outAs I drag myself out onto the dry rocks I can see the extent of the damage – A 2 1/2” slice right into the muscle fibre of my foot my friend Paul laughing at me in the background.  I’m still not in pain, but now I don’t know what to do.  How am I going to get back over the bridge? There’s no way I can navigate that bridge, even with the T-shirt I’ve now got tied around my foot. Turns out the thing that cut me was a discarded bamboo fishing rod – also with line and hooks which luckily I didn’t get snagged on.

leder boysAt this point, seemingly out of nowhere, two young Germans, wearing Lederhosen,  come to my rescue.  They’ve got a decent first aid kit and bandage me up enough so I can get back over the bridge to find some help.  I couldn’t be more thankful that those guys were there to help me.  Apparently they are part of a trio travelling around the world, in Lederhosen.  Why not.  I would appreciate people taking a look at their site………………HERE.

Back in town the man who we rented the bikes from offers to drive me to the doctor.  Another person I’m eternally grateful to.  He had a bar full of guests watching a Muay Thai match but left to find me help.

IMG_2585And help we got.  The doctor was also watching the Muay Thai and didn’t seem too happy to help, the word Falang (or foreigner) was thrown around quite a bit. After opening up the hospital for me and taking off my bandages though, he realised how bad a gash it was.

He stitched me up good and tight – with what looked like 20lb fishing line, covered me in iodine – much more pain than the actual cut, gave me antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, and sent me on my way.  And all for only $10, a bargain.

It’s now been four days and I still cant walk, and it bleeds a little.  It’s getting better slowly, but I’m in a hammock on an Island in the Mekong – And its a good excuse to do nothing.

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Many of the Temples in Chiang Mai take the opportunity to give a little advice to us tourists as we pass through admiring the architecture.  Here are some of my favourites.

adversity

nothing

brotherly

sacrifice

covetous

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The best banana pancakes in town. With extra condensed milk on top, obviously. From a random sandwich lady – Vang Vien, Laos.

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First time I was here 10 years ago I didn’t even own a camera.  Thank God I got a second chance to take some memories from this amazing city.

 

stupa 2

worshippers

buddha 4

monks pray

don temple stupa‌mini buddha

pray man

buddha 2buddha 3buddha 1

chinese templebuddhas 1

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Need I say more, whiskey – laos

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Luang prabang sausage – laos

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Steamed rice flour pancake with egg.  Chopped herbs, Crispy shallots and garlic and a fish sauce dressing.  Another Awesome Local Breakfast – Luang Prabang, Laos, 6am

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