Jason and Dawn - Around the world 2011 travel blog

Holy Crap!!!! We finally made it to Pakse, after a long afternoon and evening of trying to catch a bus here. It was a very long night on a bus that had hard, broken seats, we originally took the very back row of seats between Jason, Angie, Becky and myself. Sue and Chris had the two seats in front of us. The back row unfortunately did not recline so you sat up in “attention” all night and every time the bus would hit a bump, stop or make a sudden move to slow down you pretty much came right out of your seat. Jason’s cushion came right off the frame, every 5 minutes he would be adjusting it and putting back in place. My cushion was sunk right in, felt like my knees would be up to my neck every time we hit a bump.

After making a few stops in the middle of the night and vacating some local passengers we were able to take two proper seats for ourselves, leaving Angie and Becky with the entire back row to lay out on. We still didn’t sleep much but it was better than trying to sleep in the back. We all looked pretty rough when we stepped off the bus this morning.

We walked quite a long ways before finding our guesthouse, we were all in dyer need of a shower before finding a place to eat breakfast. There is two awesome Mina birds in cages, located right in the front lobby of the hotel. They are so cute, they get all fluffy, there chest expands, they bend over and as they come up the sing a beautiful song. We caught it all on video, I would like to take them home with me.

Pakse, at first glimpse might not be the best-looking town around, but its sultry charms unravel as lazily as the Se Don and Mekong rivers whose confluence it sits on. There are some lovely faded French villas evoking the town’s once-august status as the colonial trading capital of southern Laos. Streets bustle with activity, street vendors busily make their dishes and a central food market are all walking distance from our guesthouse. We found a side street that offered up a local stall of freshly baked goods, our favorite was the still warm, out of the oven coconut squares which were delicious.

All six of us wrangled up a tuk-tuk driver to take us to a local Spa offering cheap Laos massages. Once arrived, we bartered over the price (travel book price was lower than current prices) and got them to agree on 25,000 kip per person which turned out to be roughly over $3. Everyone had their own therapist except Jason and I, we shared a massage lady - what would have taken an hour out of everyone’s time took two because they had to wait for me to be done. (I was the last to be massaged) Jason took this hour to fall asleep beside me, the others waited out in the waiting room for us. It was a much needed massage after our last week of travels on buses. Everyone felt more relaxed and energetic after and we got all this done by 2pm in the afternoon!

Collectively, as a group we decided we wanted to do the Bolaven Plateau - 3 day tour together. We shopped around for motorbike rentals, found a shop that offered newer, more maintained looking bikes and reserved three for tomorrow morning. Excited about going on the trip we celebrated with supper at a small local “hole” in the wall soup shop. Ordered up 5 vegetarian bowls of soup, Chris had meat with his, we sat down and slurped up our noodles. Stopped in at a local mini mart, grabbed some goodies for our trip tomorrow, arranged with our guesthouse to leave our big back packs behind for three days and called it a night.

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