Pakse to Don Det – day fifty

Travel

Fortunately there wasn’t much travelling involved today. We did around a five hour drive but we got up super early so that we could get to Don Det in good time. 

Last Laos Temple

This place reminded me of the the longmen grottos. The area looking nothing alike but we had to grab golfcarts across the water to get to the starting point. The view from the beginning was spectacular. The was a long runway which led to two large buildings. After this we’re was a hill which we needed to climb before getting to the top. My favourite part was the two trees which were rooted either side of this very cobbled path. It made a beautiful photo. 

Don Det

To get across the main Mekong river stretch before getting to the boarder of the 4,000 islands. This is so interesting. The ‘ferry’ was three wooden boats fixed together with nails. I honestly didn’t think it was going to stay afloat with our bus on, but it did. When we were about to set off another 4×4 beeped to let him on. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the men flagged them to continue aboard. Loas people are definitely not wasters. They eat nearly everything, and they use as much scrap as they can. For example they had used empty water bottles to help the boat float, as well as melding scrap pieces of metal into a steering wheel and seat. It was ver make shift. As we weren’t going down the river and we were going across we had to tak to get across. It was very impressive to watch considering the current was so strong and the steering equipment wasn’t up to date.

When we got across we drove another 10 minutes before we got to the Don Det boarder. We then hopped aboard a much smaller boat which carried us 5 and our rucksakes to the other side. 


When we started to get a better view of the place I then realised why they called it the ‘4000 islands’. The reason being there are loads of little shrubbed islands on the river. They didn’t have vegetation or fruit growing but the weeds on each shrubbed area was very green and healthy. 


Walk

Me and Sophie decided to make the most of our time here and go on a walk to suss the area out. The island which we stayed on was 7km all the way around the edges. We decided we would walk 3km to the bridge and then walk a different way back. I’m so glad we went. It helped me picture the islands a lot better from a birds eye view. It also made me realise how many guest houses there were on the island, there were tons. I’m not kidding, probably 3/4 buildings we went past we’re guest houses, yet the area didn’t feel too highly populated with tourists. 


I really enjoyed the walk. I’ve been really exercise deprived over the last week. We have been on the road so much recently we haven’t been able to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. I really think exercise helps me mentally and so a good walk made me feel a lot more positive.

BBQ and mushrooms 

For dinner we went for an all you can eat BBQ. It was pretty expensive 500,000 kip which is around £5. This is the most expensive meal I think I’ve paid since arriving into Thailand. It was well worth it though because for the first time in ages they were cooking pure chicken breast. What a dream that was. 

After dinner we decided to do a happy shake. I felt comfortable around the girls (which we have now named ‘aces’ because of our first names) and the area seemed safe so I knew I’d be ok. Me and Coral shared a chocolate one and Ellie and Sophie had a banana one. I felt like I drank way more than Coral because she was on her phone the majority of us drinking it. We had it at 7pm and the effects started to kick in around 8pm. I first just felt really drunk with some control over my body. It then changed to where I felt heavy and felt like I was wrapped in cotton wool or as if something was around me but just ever so slightly off my skin. Later into it I was unable to keep my eyes shut because when I did I would ‘ride’ where my mind was taking me and then it would go black right at the end before my eyes would force open. Stupidly I said to myself that I was having a near death experience. I know I wasn’t but he has I had out it in my head I was really worried. When I think back it kind of makes sense though, how everything sort of flashes before your eyes and then suddenly goes black as if that’s it. I wonder what it is actually like when you die. 

Anyway so after three hours we decided to move back to our room but when we did that it made everything feel really heightened. From that point I felt really sick and then threw up for 40 minutes. When I was finally able to move I went back upstairs to mine and corals room to try sleep it off. Every time I woke I felt better but still not normal. Safe to say and I’m sure my mum and dad would like to hear that I didn’t enjoy my mushroom experience and I doubt I’ll try them again, or to such a quantity.

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