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Sunday, 5 September 2010

Day 132 - 134: Waterfalling / Water falling

It was a soggy morning in the south of Laos that the newly-extended Team 365 set out on motorbikes to the Bolaven Plateau. 'The southern swing', as it is perhaps only known to tourists, is the loop that circles this beautiful landscape of waterfalls and coffee plantations.

Dressed in suitably ridiculous ponchos we headed off into the light drizzle and fortunately by the time we reached Tat Champee the sun had come out (a bit) and in true British spirit we dipped ourselves into the cold water for a dip in the pool below the gorgeous falls. Rob even went for an expedition around the back of the waterfall that ended in a few tense moments of cross-current swimming back to our side of the bank - you can follow his jaunt on the photos scrolling on the right >>

On we rode, opting to walk through the bits that were too muddy, to see Tat Yuang and Tat E-Tu - which were (we believe) all the more beautiful for seeing in the wet season when the greenery was more lush and the water falling even stronger than usual. Our deep-seated appreciation of the wet season was not to last long.

Riding on to Tat Lo, a small village that had been recommended to us by a few fellow travellers and appeared on neither the Lonely Planet map of the area or any of the photocopies we had been given, it began to rain. Then the sun set. Then we rode for a further hour in the cold, dark rain until almost all hope was lost and then we found Palamei; a haven of a guesthouse ran by a lovely man called Po who cooked us a wonderful dinner and gave us a bed for the night for next to nothing.

The following morning we enjoyed a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast in the searing sun before gathering the necessaries and revving off into the distance to the spectacular Tat Hang that boasts a huge 140m of falling water. But before we reached it; vast amounts of water falling out of the sky forced us to turn back. And at the hostel we remained all day, playing cards and taking bets on when the torrential rain would stop. At 6pm (Jeff won the bet), when the sun had set and everyone's hands were red-raw from many-a-round of Chinese Snap, the rain did stop. Rain had stopped play for the day but it was a relaxing and fun day even when the water falling wasn't exactly as we had planned.

We rose early the following morning hoping to 'beat the monsoon'; weather in Asia is not that predictable. Again it rained and after a few more slippery encounters with local falls we admitted defeat and started out on the 86km back to Pakse.

This trip, we hope, will be the perfect precursor to "The Loop"; a longer and more challenging bike ride to add to our Motorcycle Diaries collection. Hopefully we've ran our bad luck out on the rain front but only time will tell...needless to say, you'll hear all about it here - thanks for reading.


  1. brilliant! thank you!

  2. Trish says:

    Goody goody, look forward to more Motorcycle Diaries! xxxx