Saturday, September 10, 2011

100 Waterfalls Hike... Where in the World is Jayne(7)

We liked our little hut and garden so well we decided to stay an extra day. I had read about a waterfall hike so checked on that. A 45 minute boat ride, 90 minute hike and then climb the waterfalls. In all it would last 7 hours. The English guy that was in charge of the company told me that my tevas would be great for the hike. Well he had either never taken the hike or had never taken it in rainy season. They were fine in the waterfalls, the river, and the canals but as soon as we got on land --I mean mud--they filled up with slime and I could hardly stand let alone walk. This wasn't so bad going up but it was a disaster coming down. And, it didn't do much for my self esteem that the guide was doing all of this in flip flops. We hiked through rice fields, and then into the jungle. The guide kept saying don't stop until we get to the water. Of course we all wanted to take picutres so we went slow in many places. We got to the first canal and he said, "leach check". I knew about the leaches because of a hike I did in Borneo but, although these leaches were smaller, there were three times as many. I guess they have a hay day getting on you when you stand still. Needless to say there was no stopping in the jungle after that. It wasn't an end all because we still got leaches but not in the quantity of our first leach check. I wanted to take a picture of Nancy when we got to the first waterfall but she wouldn't pose. She was busy getting a leach off her finger. She would grab it to take it off and then it would attach itself to that finger. They were pesky little critters.
Climbing the falls was loads of fun. Nancy lost her footing on one of the falls and she was dangling there with the helper holding her by one arm and water splashing all over her. It was fun to watch but Nancy probably didn't think so. By the time I got to falls number 88 or somewhere around in that vicinity I was a little tired. One of the helpers almost dragged me up some of the remaining falls. That reminds me. I have a new name. It's Mama. At first it hurt my ego a little but I finally decided it was like the first time someone asked if I wanted the Senior Citizen discount. I was pissed but when I saw it came with a $3 refund I decided it was pretty good. Mama also comes with bennies--help in carrying my pack, a helping hand getting up and down mountains, off boats, etc., and the kids look at me and kind of seek permission to splash water on me. Nancy gets splashed a lot. If I laugh I get splashed but if I shake my head they pretty much leave me alone. I know water throwing is a big New Year's activity but it seems to be year round with the kids and with the Mekong in full flood there's a lot of splashing going on. Anyhow, being Mama was a god send on our hike down. It started to rain--down pore-- just before we started our decent. The trail was almost straight down and nothing but gumbo. If the helper hadn't had a hold of my hand I would still be on the trail picking my way or maybe I would have just slid down on my behind. Our little hut with the garden --and a cold beer-- was much appreciated that evening.
Tomorrow we take the boat to Luang Probang.

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