So sure enough the guesthouse manager flagged down the jumbo and I hopped in next to the usual array of boxes, bags of rice, etc. etc. After a careful survey I found to my delight no chickens on board. When I got to Pakse I made my way to a travel agents to book the night bus to Vientiane for tonight and I was also able to stow my backpack there for the day.
In the lonely planet it says that there are weaving villages 15km outside of Pakse and all I had to do was find a jumbo to make my way there. We I found a jumbo at the New Market and after we were all loaded in nice and tightly we were on our way. This time there was another chicken, a rooster this time, tucked neatly under the arms of his new owner. I checked and saw that his legs where tied together and it helped that he wasn't seated too close to me but I wasn't happy until he got to his destination.
When I got to Ban Saphai one of the weaving villages I thought there'd be a few tourists around, I mean it's in the lonely planet but I was the soul tourists in this village. The I got a a local to take me across the river to the island of Don Kho where there is more weaving. There I found homes with looms sent up underneath them and women weaving away and the chickens and ducks perched in or around the looms. They had no english but with the use of the language part of the lonely planet we communicated somewhat. I bought me some Lao silk which I might get made into something in Vietnam.
The I made my way back across the river and found another jumbo on the way back to Pakse (no chickens!). I went online, ate dinner and chatted to a Dutch Girl who wasn't really sure where her boyfriend was.
I am taking the overnight bus back to Vientiane tonight because I must get my visa for Vietnam. I was then going to take the bus from Vientiane to Hanoi which is at least 24 hours but the best time I've heard is 27 hours and I have not found one person with anything good to say about it. Basically the verdict is, if you can possible afford it FLY! So that's what I'm seriously considering at the moment, I checked online and I can get a one way flight for $123.