My first night in Laos restored my faith in Germans and I was finally relaxed, laying on a bamboo balcony over the Mekon River at night drinking my first beer Lao. The bar I had been taken to by some of my fellow backpackers was called Euphoria and although a little over priced, it was a beautiful bar that just breathed relaxation and chillness.
The next day I joined a group to go to the waterfalls, only known to me as the big waterfalls that I had to go and see. The waterfalls were about an hours ride away but well worth the bumpy trip. Once there you walk through the bear rescue centre where you learn all bout the poor bears and how they were saved. And if you are lucky you will see them all. After that you take a short walk through some greenery then you reach the bottom of the waterfalls. Our small group split here, three walking up on the left hand side, while the other two joined a larger group going up the right. The left was the scenic rout through the jungle with muddy paths that had a nice mix of insects, ants, and spiders to crawl up your legs as you walked past. The muddy path then led to a worn away stair case in a small waterfall. It also involved a full body workout to climb, run, jump and swim top reach the top. Finally at the top, we had to cross a big pond to reach the others. Crossing this was not easy. We had to balance on slippery rocks and try not to fall in and get swept away over the falls. I was nearly to the other side and I could see other people swimming in the pool where the current did not threaten to knock you of your feet when it happened. I had my shoes in hands, nice black gladiator sandals from Newlook that I had purchased about two months before leaving, they were a little worn but I loved them for the style and comfort they provided. Now you may be wondering why I am telling you about my shoes. Imagine you’re nearly across a large waterfall that had taken a good hour to climb, balancing on a muddy slippery rock, nearly at your destination when suddenly you feel your self slipping. What would you do? With no time to react I fell forwards, pushed by the strong flow of the water. I managed to balance myself as I fell by using my hands but in doing so I had to let go of one of my shoe’s. I watched as my shoe floated away at incredible speed, getting caught on a tree, and as if mocking me it paused there for a good 20 seconds before going over the edge.
Everyone had a good laugh at my lack of a shoe. We stayed at the top for a bit to have a quick swim and for me to get over the loss of my shoe. Any true shoe lover will understand my pain although I now look on it as the world telling me it was time to get new shoes. We walked, or should I say climbed down the right side of the waterfall which was less ant filled and involved only getting a little muddy, much to my relief.
After surviving the walk down I was happy to be heading back to the hostel. All I needed was some new flipflop’s but shoes in Asia are small and being a size 6 UK I had to settle for a man’s large flipfop’s. I was very happy when I got back to the hostel with no cuts on my feet. By this time it was around 5 pm and I had jut enough time to shower and change before heading back to Euphoria to watch the sun set.
I had spent part of the day with and headed out with a German brother and sister who were backpacking together. Although they seemed very nice I found that my evening was spent not understanding a word as they only spoke in German. The couple could speak English and I still wonder why they had invited me along if they were going to ignore me all night? A friend of theirs also came to join us and they did the same to her, therefore I choice to believe it was not me and that they were just rude. I did manage to use the time to write about my time in Chiang Mai so I guess it was still a good night.
When it was time to go for food I excused my self and headed back to the hostel as I did not feel like more time sitting in silence listening to others talk and not understanding it. I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason and that night the universe showed me why. Back at the hostel I sat outside to relax and watch the world go by, when the two Spanish girls that had checked in the same night as me came back from a boat ride. I sat out side talking to one of them and some how in a matter of minutes she had convinced me to join them on a boat ride and overnight stay at a village. Excited and I must admit a bit nervous, I cancelled my booking at the hotel and went to bed ready for what I now know was a chance in a life time and 24 hours I will never forget.