It seems today, that all you see, is sex-drugs-rock’n’roll and friends on tv

Day XXIII – April 10
blue lagoon
Today brings the final goodbye with Levi, very mellow and quite impersonal… “Bye, have fun, have a good life.” My first on-the-road crush and I skrewed it up by not undertaking any action.
phatok caveAnd here I thought I’d figured out by now one of my lessons was to follow things through, where I used to throw in the towel because I think I can’t do it or it might be too dangerous or scary, but live like there’s literally no tomorrow.

I make another trip to Blue Lagoon, by tuktuk this time, with Dave, David and Kevin, the two Germans we met here in the hostel. And besides swinging and splashing in that lovely pond, we go up to the cave and take the big walk around, wandering into the dark.
Dave has a sort of torch and it’s a lot easier, this one. But still a nice little adventure with lots of clambering over rocks, discovering new holes, and again some really nice views.

When we come back, we sit down at a diner for a good meal and some Family Guy. We try to leave, but before we’re done paying a new episode has started. Near the end I’m contemplating on having icecream for desert, but decide against it so we can finally leave, after just sitting for over 2 hours.

It’s this thing here: everywhere you see screens playing reruns of Friends, Family Guy and the occasional Southpark, and travellers captured by the moving images. It’s easy to get stuck waisting time like that.

family guy
We skip the river and just have a quiet evening at the island. It’s a Buddhist holiday, so there isn’t allowed to be any loud music.
Again heavy rain and thunder pour down this evening. It’s getting closer to the rainy season, or it’s coming sooner this year. But we’re safe in our little cabana.
I get a Kate Hudson (in How To Loose A Guy) from Kevin.
It’s another common thing: comparing people you meet anew to celebrities.
David lights my potential last cigarette, [that lasted for 4 days… Sorry David,] and we have interesting conversations, until he gets drunk – for the second time in his life he claims. That’s what Vang Vieng does to you…

Did I mention how over time your standards of hygiene adapt?
At first I used a wipey ceveral times a day, cleaning my face, hands, feet… Now just washing with water every once in a while is fine for my hands, and the daily shower will do for the rest.
I still want my toilet paper, but don’t mind if it’s a squatter.
My feet get real dirty, but that just suits the local belief that they are not just physically but also spiritually the lowest part of the body.
I used to ask for ‘no ice’, now I hardly check if it was purified. The whole in the middle of the cube should tell you it is.
You extend the amount of time it’s OK for clothes to be worn.
And make up: I bother to do it once every so many days now. It’s too much hassle to sit down every day and spend 10 minutes staring into a mirror.
Mosquitospray; I started out applying it several times a day. But still, especially those first days, my legs and feet were covered with bites. Over time I applied less, only at dusk, until I left it all together. Now I just use that Columbian after-product my brother gave me after his trip there, to stop the bites from itching and me from scratching. I mean, it’s not like I’ll get bitten any more now; less actually. New bites every day, of course, but still.

But that’s not all

I’m totally skipping over the good part!

Yesterday was the best. Day. Ever! I’m saying it again.

After a lazy wake up on the backporch, sipping complementary coffee and snacking complementary bananas, and gazing over all the green surrounding this town of party and crazy, we decided to do something.
Levi and Makyla [CAN] were also up for taking a bicycle out to Blue Lagoon – the rest of them went by tuktuk.

Cool thing about taking bikes was that we could take a little detour that passed by a little hill –compared to the rest of them- with a really cool viewpoint and that yellow flag on top of it.
So we left our bikes in the care of the man we just paid to go up, and were on our way.

A little way up there was a cave. Pretty small, but cool. Cooler even, because there was a hole; a hole into the mountain, a hole of pitch black. Big enough to crawl through though. Too bad we didn’t have any torches with us.
Luckily Makyla had her camera, and you have the focuslight that turns on for 2 seconds or something; long enough to see where you put your next foot. So slowly we made our way in, slipping and sliding, crawling and climbing.
It’s funny how, when you’re in an entirely pitchblack space, your eyes do this thing where they make you believe that you do see something, which of course you can’t. Nature is so fascinating that way.
And when Makyla flashed that light for a moment, the 3d drawings that make up the walls of this cave were so… astonishing! Once again I’m left wordless to describe this wonder of nature to you. The inside of the mountain, a secret kept from the world.
We carefully took another turn, into a next hall, and almost stepped into a big gap. Then we found a little window somewhere and peered down a long and narrow shaft that looked to the sky, but was too small to be a way out. So we turned around, took two steps and were covered in pitchblack again.
We debated for a moment, about which way to go, but took the right one back to that hall we first fell into. Still it was pitchblack, with no sign of that hole we came through. For a second my heart raced and I don’t think the others can deny theirs did too. But sure enough as I’m writing this, I took another step, and around a corner I saw the light.
Levi found another entrance into a next hall, but I’m secretly glad we just went up and out again. Don’t tell anyone I was.

So up and up we went, a nice climb!
Too bad I was still walking around on those fliflops that kept breaking all the time. I could do part of it on bare feet, scrabbleing over mosty leafs. But higher up the climb went over very pointy rocks. And I had too little grip to actually make it atop of the highest point. We hung out up there anyway for a bit, watching out over the valley.

This tiny hill we were on: just a little bump in a big patch of extremely flat ground, surrounded by these mountains that go straight up to form high walls to shelter this little world of crazy in such a vast majestic landscape.
Up here we could still make out the sounds of the never-ending party, quite clearly even. But like a very far away, little and puny sound. Such bliss, sun and wind brushing past our faces.
Then we clambered back down, got back on our bikes and had half an hour of slightly sloping road to race down and up over, friendly faces to smile at, happy kids to yell ‘hello’ at and amazing mountains to awe at.

And then: Blue Lagoon, more of that the turqoisest water, and so nice and cool! The pool was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, much smaller than Kuang Si for example.
But it was a very nice and calm place. Not giving room to all those people in town, enough for just a few of the fun ones, playing on the swings and swimming with the fish.
There was a cave up there as well, but we decided the three of us had done enough of that already.

Back to town, eventually, and it was around 6pm when we got on that tuktuk out to the river, the tubing bars.

A new record this evening: I made it as far as bar 3. Which means a swim across the river. Most of it walking, but at the end it get’s just a bit too deep – for everyone, not just little old me. And there’s a current so strong that there’s a lifeguard throwing out a bottle on a rope you have to grab, or otherwise people start shouting at you. We all made it to the other side safe and had another plenty of dances before we stuffed a tuktuk back home.

I believe officially they’ll take no more than 6 persons. We insisted on going with 10. Our driver agreed, as long as we all still paid 25,000k.
When we were all seated and on our way Liam [CAN] had an announcement: “This bucket I got for all of us to share! It’s the tukbucket!” And the crowd went wild. We passed it down it all the way into town, laughing, singing, shouting, handing beers to passing bikes.

Where our driver stopped too soon; some people wanted to grab dinner and he’d stop only once so the rest of us had to walk the rest.
Well no way José! There was another tuktuk right behind, with the rest of us, so I ran straight for that one as I got off the first.
At my first attempt, of course, I didn’t make it, and bumped my leg foully against the grate. But I wasn’t going to give in there, so tried again and got my free 200-meter ride home.

All in all a day perfectly spend.
And after, evidently, came facking bucket island, and you know the rest.

It’s insane how popular shrooms etc are here. And I’m surprised at how many friends are totally digging that stuff. At Bucketbar I see Noah chatting to a lapricorn he just met while Chuck is fighting a monster to the death… Just to clarify: it wasn’t I who was taking the drugs.

Oh and here’s the place I lost track of my budget, which I’d been neatly keeping scores of, as I have so little to spend all together. Stuck pretty okay to under 200,000 per day though, so I should be able to make it till the end.