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Bye Bye Vang Vieng. Hello Vientiene

local transport to the capitol...

sunny 28 °C

Leaving Vang Viang was like dragging oneself across the surface of Jupiter. The place has a natural gravity with a tremendous force that pulls one always back into its comforting arms. I spent my last day among friends trying to sqeeze every last ounce of enjoyment out of the place before leaving. I rode my bike to the river with Santiago, who took the following picture of me, dressed in a green toga, crossing the bamboo bridge.

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I would also like to include a photo of a very comfortable tuk tuk driver man. I wish I could have a vehicle like this back in the states...

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And here is the pet spider that lived with part of his web attched to my bungalow...He was there all week and moved only to masticate some poor bug that found himself tangled helpless and slowly consumed. Was cool to watch though! I wish I knew this spider's life story! Notice he's missing a leg!

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I left in the morning and didn't get a chance to say good bye to many wonderful people. I miss you all so much. I keep leaving little pieces of my heart here and there, and perhaps again, here in this place of contridictions, I have left a shard of heart matter beneith a bamboo bungalow. (Miss u MUCH, Australia.)

I traveled by Tuk tuk to Vientiene. It was a mega-tuk tuk which took on travellers for around 30,000 K to the capitol. It was a cool way to travel, if a little dusty, but it was nice talking to the locals. At one point there were so many people in the tuk tuk, including school girls hanging onto the back, and young men on the roof and floor that I was surprised we were able to move at all. But most of the time we wern't that full. THe school girls carried basic english phrase books and Marion, a german I befriended, had a nice time communicated some basic english with the girls. A few boys talked to us too, and there was a lot of awkward but well-meaning smiles when the language barrier prevented us from understanding one another.

Marion and I walked together and found a guest house to stay at (RD Guesthouse) It's right in the town center just a stones throw from the Mekong and the night food market. We bought a bottle of wine from the local market and brought it to a french restaurent and shared it as well as bowls of amazing tomato basil soup and the stinkiest creamiest awsomest french cheese that I'd been craving for a LONG time.

THen we went to the riverside food market and sat on cushions on the ground and listened to soft-rock 80's karioke (The Way you Look tonight and Lean on ME) etc. They had lots of weird things to eat there like fish and FROGS!

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I enjoyed a nice pot of hot tea...

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...and Marion ate some FRESH, and I mean FRESH as in alive when you order em, dead when you eat em, CRAWFISH thinggies!

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I tried one, and it was pretty good, but not really my thing.

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THe market had stalls that sold the most beautiful wraps and scarves I've seen yet...i tried so very hard to resist...but couldn't. I think I'll be back tonight to buy s'more. at 5 bucks a wrap they make great gift, but I'm not sure if I have the ability to give any of them away!

We slept like logs. I don't even remember dreaming. This morning we rose together and wet to JoMa's, which is a bakery I went to twice in Luang Prabang for a Bagel Egger breakfast...and I did it again. And it was again just amazingly delicious. THen Marion and I Walked about and took photographs of some temples. Here is Crofteepoo in a cemetary in the grounds of a temple in town:

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Please don't ask me what I"m wearing on my head. It's SOOO hot, plus my skin is so amazingly sensitive from the Malaria meds and just scratching it causes a burning sensation. So i'm keeping covered up with hat and long scarf...even if the locals AND tourists have to laugh at me.

ANYHOW, this is for me mum. A photo of the United Nations Building in Vientiene:

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I also found the Laosian Arch de Triumph! It's located centrally with a huge round about around it just like in Paris. Yet its wonderfully and abundantly Laosian too!!

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Marion and I parted ways, as she's heading over the Friendship Bridge to THailand for an overnight Train to Bangkok. I meandered through town and enjoyed some mint chocolate chip ice cream. THen I hit up this here internet spot, which has 100K/ minute internet, but its slower than Paris Hilton's abilty to rub two brain cells together. (oh god, that wasn't fair-i don't know the girl-but it DID effectively illustraite how slow this internet is...right?!?)

I'm making my way slowly, as well, through Atlas Shrugged. Page 242 and still feels like I"m at the beginning of the book.

Tommrrow I leave in the early morning for the airport when I"m headed to Phenom Phen Cambodia. There is always this huge sence of excitment when leaving for an altogether new country. Naturally one has to take stock of funds, hit up the exchange places to have some dollars on hand for the journey, and make sure that the bag is organized. Then one reads the guidebooks available in the guesthouses ( i don't actually carry my OWN guidebook-which I think is better because I often find things and places that the Lonely PLanet overlooks, which means their often cheaper and less crowded)--but its good to get a general feel for where you're going. Yet still, it's a new place, new country, new people, new language (how DO i say hello??), new money, new transport, you get it.

So the thrill is in the newness. I'm yet so sad to leave Laos. THis trip just doesn't encompass enough time to get off the beaten track and see the back country. Next time, I promice myelf, next time, at least a month or two per country.

Love to all my new friends, my old ones, my co-workers and regulars who keep up with this, and my family.
xoxo
Crafty Crofty

Posted by LadyCroft 00:38 Archived in Laos Tagged backpacking

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