Stray - Xe Champhone to PakseSeptember 14, 2015 in Laos
It was another early start and long drive through to our next destination, Pakse. As usual it was never a smooth journey, cattle, goats and dogs roam freely so the bus had to brake sharply, swerve, toot its horn, or a combination of all three, to avoid striking one.
Rain pattered steadily as we arrived in Pakse and continued throughout the remainder of the day. It was in contrast to the usual heavy but relatively brief monsoon showers we had been experiencing. After lunch we drove back out of the city and crossed the Bolaven Plateau, our ears popping to the slow gain in altitude. A soup of fog poured over the road to leave only the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the very edges of the road visible. The air quickly cooled and this combination gave the almost surreal impression of being in a wet English October.
We made our way through the fog and past coffee and tea plantations, which grow abundantly in the nurturing soils of the plateau, to reach the Tad Ngeuang waterfalls.
At the falls we met the owner of surrounding coffee plantation and sat under shelter above the falls to warm ourselves (we never thought we would say that after weeks of humidity) on thick dark Lao coffee. Even Alex, who does not drink coffee, enjoyed the very smooth taste before he bounced off the ceiling on a caffeine high.
With the rain refusing to relent we only ventured down to a viewpoint next to the top of the falls, the steep slick stairs down to its basin appearing too much like an accident waiting to happen. We kept dry using cheap umbrellas brought in Luang Prabang, ironically just before experiencing over a week of good weather. So at least they got an outting.
In the evening we went to a nearby restaurant run by an Indian to eat curry and naan bread. It was a welcomed change from rice and stir-fry that has become our staple food groups. We reflected on how in just a few days we would be leaving Laos and crossing the border into Cambodia.
Due to an absence of worthwhile photography today we have posted some photos that did not make the cut on previous posts.Read more