A Day In the Life
Here it is. What you've all been waiting so patiently for...a play by play of one of our more eventful days so far. From hiking waterfalls, to playing with 25 village kids, to crashing right before a bridge. Grab some popcorn and get ready for one hell of a story. You'll cry, laugh and wish you were here.
Today, for the first time in a while, we woke up with a plan, a plan to see some nature. Kuang Si Falls is a stunning waterfall with three tiers of different pools and cascades comprising it. If you're ever in Luang Prabang be sure not to miss this. In the morning, we made a stop at one of the more famous French Bakeries here to grab some breakfast and lunch for later. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. The baguette sandwiches are the things of dreams, the ambiance was very France meets jungle and the service was some of the best so far! Long story short - great start to our day.
Next came the hour long motorbike ride to the Falls. Now some of you who know us, might assume I drove the motorbike...but that just isn true. Tray took the lead and kicked ass (for most of the ride, but more on that later) and I felt like I was Miss Daisy. Riding on a motorbike is far more fun that I'd ever imagined. Driving is a thrill, but it also requires so much concentration in order to avoid potholes, leaning just the right amount for a turn, and navigating between the INSANE drivers in Southeast Asia. I truly feel like sometimes we are in the newest Mad Max: Everybody Drive With No Regard for Others. I greatly prefer being a passenger, where I get to sit back - also very still - and enjoy the scenery. After a peaceful, constructive and fun ride there, we arrive to the small village at the base of the Fall Trail. Tracey began carefully navigating the impossibly crowded street to find parking. Right when I think we are in the clear and about to make a smooth entrance, she swerves, kicks a dog, it yelps and EVERYONE is staring at us. I, being the relaxed and oblivious passenger had no idea what just occurred, but everyone around us seemed to have formed the opinion that Tracey just felt like kicking a dog...naturally that wasn't the case! Tracey, in an effort to save this dogs life after he ran out in front of us, reached her foot out to "gently nudge" him out of the way...it just wasn't quite that simple. I laughed it off, smiled at everyone's stares and we moved forward. No innocent dog was injured, just Tracey's motorbike ego.
Now, this place was gorgeous. The falls were massive. The pools and small falls were fun and many people were having the time of their lives. Eventually, we ran into an English guy, who was setting up a slack line, in the water between two trees. How could I not stop?! We had a quick lesson, before I became too self-conscious of the 30 tourists stopping to gawk and take photos. But let me tell you, slack lining in one of the Kuang Si Falls pools was pretty awesome.
Our new friend gave us some invaluable advice next: "On the trail to the top of the Falls, take the route to the left, that says 'Do Not Pass'. It's great." Andddd of course we did just that. There we found a treacherous trail, which because of our own safety we couldn't snap photos. At the end of this trail, was a beautifully perfect pool, halfway up the waterfall, with a gorgeous view down on all the puny tourists not brave enough for the trek. :)
Now clearly, this part of our day was paradise. However, it was the drive back that took a turn on the unique side. While motorbiking back through the beautiful Laos countryside, one of our companions managed to get a flat tire. Fortunately, we had just recently passed a small roadside village, so we returned there to receive help! Tracey and I decided to go check out the adorable and tiny children's market. They were all dressed up (see main photo at top) and decidedly very good at trying to win our business. We ended up buying a couple bracelets and then headed back towards the repair area. I noticed the kids were following Tracey back as she had stayed to take a few photos of them. They suddenly were all play and no business.
We spent the better part of an hour, twirling them around, lifting them up into the air, flipping them upside down, playing duck duck goose, and endless games of patty cake. Endless. Games. Now please try to remember that we had just finished hiking a massive waterfall all day, and this now involved great amounts of energy and strength. By the time we were almost done entertaining these adorable kids, there were about 25 with us. We were dead. All we wanted was to be back at our Guesthouse in the comforts of our beds. BUT NO. The day was not done with us yet.
After we said our goodbyes, and the kids chased us on our motorbike down the road. We were elated. On the road again, heading back to Luang Prabang, for a relaxed night. As Tracey was expertly weaving us in and out of traffic, something crazy happened. There was one, fairly large truck, that we were attempting to pass (like the rest of the motorbike crowd on the road) when it started veering to the left - right at us! We slowly realized the road was narrowing and finally that it was because there had been a narrow bridge just ahead of the truck. But by that point, we had already crashed. That's right Mom, we crashed and lived to tell the tale. I managed to leave the accident completely unscathed as I fell directly onto Tracey. Well, I would have landed on her harder, if I had not been innately aware that I would smooth her face. Because I deduced this while crashing, I ended up summersaulting off of her - Cirque Du Soleil, I'll take that job offer now. Poor Tracey though...she ended up semi under the bike, with some gnarly scratches to her ankle, leg and knee. Although, I can personally testify to how much of a badass Tracey is growing into - I'm so proud.
To end this wonderfully dramatic and heartfelt tale, I will now bring in some pure happiness. Something that we were absolutely crazy about in Luang Prabang, was this one sandwich street vendor. Sammies, sandoozles or Adam Sandlers,whatever you might call them, these were THE BEST. The kid working the sales portion knew many languages, worked his ass off to get us to buy more, and then his family delivered a gift sent from the beyond. Unfortunately, no pics because they were too good to gawk at (and maybe we aren't obsessed with snapping photos of our food like every other millennial). *Pats self on back for the win*
Thanks for reading this novel, hope your popcorn lasted. And yes, we are still alive & well.