MP3 track of the day: photograph - Nickleback
Weather: Very cloudy in the morning – no good for photos – but clearing mid afternoon.
Believe it or not but last night I was freezing cold. I was only given a small blanket and I left the room fan on all night to keep away the mosquito's. I went to my bag, pulled out my sheet sleeping bag, and lay it on my bed ready for tonight. Due to the temperature of the water I had the worlds quickest shower. It was so quick that I reckon I was probably showered, dried and dressed before an F1 car could go from 0 to 120mph. I went to my local restaurant to have a spot of breakfast (chocolate pancake … yum) and was surprised to see the rest of the group in there as well. Yesterday most of the group had decided to go fishing – with the idea of cooking whatever they caught on a BBQ later tonight – however it was 10am and I would have thought that, with fishing, the earlier the better. I sat down and ordered my food whilst chatting to the group.
Once finished we did indeed break into smaller groups with most people going in search of a fisherman, and a boat, to hire. I wanted to take a few photos of the island (plus I ain't really bothered about fishing) however, looking at the sky, it was a complete sheet of white. I decided to retire to my guesthouse, read a book and wait for the skies to improve.
It took until 2:30pm when eventually 'blue' over took 'white' as the dominant colour within the sky. I jumped up, put my book away, and headed out for a walk around the island with my camera and whatever water I had left. The islands almost circular in shape, however the path was in a 'tear' shape meaning, that at parts, I didn't get that close to the coast. It didn't matter though.
The first bit of the walk was within the touristy area of town. Eventually I cut inland and headed straight through a lot of local farm land. The road was long, and straight, with little shade; at this point it had occurred to me that maybe having lunch, and stocking up on water, might have been a better idea than to head straight out with my camera. Never mind. The landscape to the left, and right, of me was beautiful; the sun was hot and the land looked barren and scorched, apart from small clusters of trees that climbed ever higher with their branches full of brightly coloured green leaves. I took quite a few photos of this area whilst remaining in shade whenever possible.
The road was long, much longer than I had anticipated. I cursed myself for not bringing more water, food or even a map with me. At this point a local Lao guy came past me on his bicycle, stopped, and offered me a seat on the back of his bike. I declined the offer politely trying to use my drama skills to indicate that I actually like walking (which people over here find bizarre). I eventually made it to the tip of the 'tear'; to my left was a bridge, to another island, that costs 20,000 kip (£1.66) to cross. To my right was the path back to civilization on 'Don Det'. Low on water, and hungry, I took the path back towards town. This path was a lot more shaded than the previous one - which was a blessing - and there was a sign for a cafe selling cake. Now I had been told that this cafe was supposed to be very good and so I thought I might stop there for a little refreshment. That was until I arrived at said cafe and noticed the customers it attracts; deadlock hair, bad music and cigarettes (which I was sure wasn't tobacco) seemed to be the standard dress code for this place and it just seemed too 'hippie' for me. I moved on. It wasn't long after that I saw buildings appear and sure enough I was back in town. Looking at a guesthouse to my left I saw loads of local people and quite a few police. I wondered what was going on.
I made my way to my favorite restaurant for a chicken baguette and a coconut shake … I felt a lot better. I was making my way to a local internet cafe when I met Terra (who hadn't gone fishing and instead had spent the day reading her book on the beach). She also needed to visit the internet and so she tagged along. During my walk today I had decided that, though this island is quite pretty, I was ready to move on and out of Laos. I had therefore decided to move into Cambodia a day earlier than planned and so I needed the internet to amend my hostel booking before purchasing a bus ticket. All went well and I got out of the internet cafe as soon as possible due to the cost. With my hostel booking amended I purchased my bus ticket for Tuesday 8th February.
The time was around 5:30pm and the sun was setting; the guys BBQ was going to happen at Terra's guesthouse and so we set off in that direction. Midway I stopped and told terror that I shall be along later; I raced back to my guesthouse, picked up my camera, and headed back out into the fields to take some sunset photos … which came out okay. After that I went back to my guesthouse, dropped my stuff off, and got changed before taking the long walk, out of town, to Terra's guesthouse.
As I approached the rest of the group were there and a fire had been built on the beachfront towards the back of the guesthouse. The upshot was that no fish had been caught today (apparently the fishing trip was rubbish) and so the owner of the guesthouse had gone out, on our behalf, to purchase some fish for us to cook. I was no longer feeling dodgy, however I didn't fancy taking the risk so soon after being ill; I declined the offer of eating the meal. The meal was ate, alcohol was consumed and generally we were all having a great time. We were out well past Laos' curfu but it didn't seem to matter; I was getting a little tired at 1am so I excused myself and left early, braving the long, dark walk back to the guesthouse. The walk was pretty scary; luckily I had brought my torch with me but still there was little light and all buildings were boarded up for the night. It's strange how places can look so different in the night that they do in the day.
All went well and I was soon as snug as a bug in a rug in my bed.
Tomorrow the plan is to get up for more photography (I want to do a bit of urban photography plus get a couple of shots of the sun setting on 'sunset beach') before meeting the others for more fun and games. Busy, busy, busy.