Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Find Your Own Fun

New bridge over the Nam Kan River
At the mouth of the Nam Kan River, where large rocks speed it’s flow into the mighty Mekong, the local’s who live across the river build a bamboo bridge at the beginning of dry season. There are 2 other bridges on this side of the river (where the airport is): one is only for foot traffic and motorcycles and the other for full sized vehicles. Wanting to see where the locals really live, we decide to take a hike across the new bridge and walk until we find the motorcycle bridge.

Here comes the beer!
The well-maintained steps to the river end at a strip of reeds that flank the high-water mark. Where the plant’s stop, the thick, packed mud slopes down to a set of roughly hacked stairs in the hard-packed mud. At the bottom, there is a mud flat-still wet and oozing.  A series of large bamboo pieces have been laid down, so as not to get your feet muddy. One must summon their inner cat to be nimble enough to cross and not fall. In the upcoming days the inner cat will be tested over and over.

Sometimes it about the journey
For tourists, the cost is 10000kat (about 1.50). There is a hut at the beginning of the bridge, which is a hive of activity when we arrive. There is a camera crew filming. As we begin our journey across, from the other bank come a series of men, lugging large boxes of beer, large speakers and on gentleman had a large cooked pigs head on a plate. I am glad the bridge is new and is the best it’s ever going to be, because there is much traffic.

Party at the river
Scampering up the other side, there is a rough looking bench under a tree perfect to witness the activities on the other side. We’re not sure if it was just a party for the bridge builders, a party for the official opening or just some locals having fun.  At any rate, by the time we had our long walk and returned home, they were still at it.
Lovely traditional homes
The other side was interesting as you could see the prosperity. Families were building nice CBS homes in the courtyards of the bamboo structures they have been living in for generations. There were lots of garages with cars and new Tuk-Trucks (bigger than a Tuk-tuck). Also, the locals were not as glad to see us cruising the streets. Other places, folks – especially kids, are very happy to say HI! (Mingalaba, Sah Wad Di, Sues Day and Sa Ba Di) as you pass by. Not here, not so much.
Looking good
The motorcycle bridge was scarier than the bamboo bridge. Very rickety with old, old lumber comprising the walkway. We met some kids on bikes in the middle. They had been real boys, spitting over the side into the river below. Monkey Man stopped to say hi and they were unimpressed until he too, spit over the side. We spent a few minutes bonding and spitting. Nice. 
To the left of the bridge is the pedestrian side.
Eventually we rented a Truck-Tuk to take us to Kuangsi WaterFalls, about 25kilometers from LP. We made sure to get up early, so as to beat the crowds and beat the heat. It has been unseasonably hot here. It should be a lovely upper 70’s to lower 80’s but for us, it’s been around 95 during the height of the day. Bummer. The cool weather was one of the reasons we picked LP.

A chicken guards the gate
At the Falls, there is a Sun-Bear rescue. The bears are hunted for their bile-which is said to have restorative powers. The bears had very nice enclosures in the forest with lots of areas where they could get away from the tourists. Part of the river had been diverted to run thru their habitat. None of those bears could have given a rat’s ass about the tourists walking thru. They played, scratched their ass, farted and slept. They had escaped the Bile Train.
This bear has no worries.
Further up the trail, we saw the beginning of the turquoise blue pools, made by the progression of the series of falls down the mountain. The color was unreal and reminded me of the pools of Palmukkale in Turkey. There is absolutely no way to capture the color of that water. There were 3 distinct pools, stepping down from each other. At the top of the trail, was the true prize- a giant falls. 
OMG- gorgeous!
A 30 minute walk along the river
What else could we do? We took pictures of other tourists with their camera’s and vice versa. Then we stopped at the very lovely café and had a Cappuccino in honor of Prima.
Look where we are!

Cap at the falls

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