carotte

Trekk

Yeah – we both mention how good the plac was and how nice the people were, but no mention of the name in either guide book!! it cost 2000 baht for three days trekking and one day cooking courrse – our guide was called jo – nice guy. Mama said you phoned so you’ve probably booked your trekk – they are most probably all about the same. as for the leeches, we found them in malasia – charging along every inch of ground sniffing out blood!!! Loo would have loved them – there were nnone in chang mai when we were there. sounds like laos was as good fun as i remember. well, enjoy the last few days. Nice and sunny here – though you won’t be enjoying any of the sun as you will both most rpobably be holled up in a factory somewhere in an effort to piece back the wrecks of your bank accounts!!! Rio is now able to walk along a little shakily pushing a trolley with bricks in!!! (mama – he did it for the first time today – I’ll bring the trolley tomorrow!)

solid

quality photos!

back in tailand after a somewhat hellish 3 day journey up the mekong river and out of laos. chang mai, a city north of bankok, seems nice so far.

tarn, can you let me know what the name of that cookery course/trek place was called. cheers.

will blog and call soonest.

julio

decoy pliskin

I’ve just noticed my photo. I have the longest chin in the world….my picture barely fits on the page. At least Dod has been quite complementary with the hairline!!

pliskin

THere is only 1 word to describe Engand’s performance in the World Cup: PATHETIC
South Africa must have thought they’d turned up at an Invalids Convention!

Loving the weather – heading to the beach again tomorrow. Hopefully there’ll be enough wind for some windsurfing this time!!

Jul: I remember Vang Vienh well. Tubing is epic isn’t it? Did you also find the place where you can swim into some caves. Good fun but pretty scary, especially when you have to swim against the current to get out!

solid

hello!

Laos has been good fun so far. when i say Laos i mean the town of Vangvien that we have been staying in the for the last week. the laos people are very laid back and exceedingly friendly. even the police (who show up every night to kick us out of the bars at eleven thirty, brandishing scary looking AK-47 machine guns) are courtious. we did tubing on the river with a good bunch of people. we were driven upriver a good way and dropped of with a tractor inner tube like they one we have at home. we were soaked on arrival becouse as luck would have it we arrived in Vangvien at the beginning of the three day water festival. the everyone in town became engaged in a massive water fight. leaving your hostel at anytime of day and you are set upon by gangs of laos youths and western tourists armed with buckets and water pistols. hordes of people lined the roads spraying all passerbys with water. it was impossible to go anywere with out getting soaked at least twice. thankfully it was all in such good fun that it wasn’t in anyway annoying. only the westerners taking it a little to far. (one guy chased me for two blocks as i darted in and out of resurants and guesthouses.) i managed to avoid most wettings until the last day of the festival. heading into town for food i passed a roadblock with only a minor squirt from a pistol. sadly i realised i had gone down the wrong street and would have to go back through the road block. this time they were ready for me. gambling i proffered my bag, claiming it contained my camera and my passport. (infact it did have my camera in it but i had sealed it in a water proof ziplock bag) this seemed to have the desired effect. a loas lowered his bucket and offered to shake hands. like a gullible fool i shook his hand while some fiend snuck up behind me and poured a bucket of ice water down my neck. i started off like a greyhound but halfway down the street realised i had lost one of my flipflops. the loas guy had scooped it up and was holding it aloft like a precious trophy. “you have to come back to get it!” he announced with a cackle. i did, but not without getting soaked by about twenty people, who had all taken an interest in the commotion. anyway, going to the tubing we had to travel in an open tuk tuk which ofcourse slowed down to a snails pace at all of the roadblocks. suffice to say we got drenched. the tubing itself was really good. you blissfully sailed down the river in your tube untill you got to a riverside bar. some chap would chuck out a piece of bamboo and you would pull yourself in. each bar was equiped with a swing. now these were not your regular swings, these were 30 foot drop monstrocities builts from bamboo and string. you clamber up to these teetering platforms and watch as a Laos guy does wild tricks, like holding on to the swing with his feet or something equally crazy, then its your turn and you are handed the swing and you look down, suddenly realise how high it is but then its too late and you are falling and swinging and its fantastic. this goes on all the way down the river for about five hours. great stuff.

headin up north tomorrow. 20 days left. doesn’t seem long.

julio