Day 34: The One With The Caves

By now, our group was beginning to resemble a gang of friends from a sitcom series, as everyday we’d meet at the Otherside for breakfast. On this day, Corey told us about a couple caves we could visit, we all agreed to go, with that he went to sort out our tickets. We were to be picked up at half past one that afternoon, so, after popping back to the room to get changed, we all met outside, and awaited our tuktuk.

The previous evening, our friend Suzy had arrived at Vang Vieng. She wasn’t feeling too hot, due to coming down with some sort of bug, but soldiered on, and made it with us. The tuktuk journey was very much like the one to the lagoon, bumpy. After a half hour drive, which included non-stop swerving of potholes every five feet, we had arrived. We had two guides, who walked us through a small village, until we reached the first cave, named The Elephant Cave. It gained this title, as inside were two rocks, which resembled elephants. As well as these two rocks, there was a Buddha statue, and, a giant footprint, supposedly, it was that of the deity himself. During a certain time of the year, the monks fill the footprint with water, and place flowers on the surface, before praying.

We weren’t in the cave for long, before we set off through the village, passing cows, chickens, dogs, ducks and children. We soon came out the other side, to be presented with a water cave. Here, we placed all of our valuables into waterproof bags, and sat on some rubber rings (much like the tubing ones). The water was very cold, on account of it being sheltered from the sun, by the gargantuan mountain we were about to float under. We had to grab hold of a rope, to pull ourselves along, as to navigate deeper into the cave. Inside, we turned on the headlights we were given, to allow us vision, as it was too dark too see without them. There’s not too much I can write to be descriptive of the cave, other than, it was very cold, dark, and wet inside. Every so often, the water was too shallow to float on, which meant we had to walk. We took a few pictures of the group, and, to say it was pitch black inside, the pictures came out very well indeed. I think we explored for about half a mile, before turning around to come back out. We used the rope again, passing stalagtites, which if we were unlucky, dripped cold droplets of water down our backs. We pulled, and pulled, until eventually we saw the sunlight, being spoon fed through the mouth of the cave. After exiting, and returning through the village, we got in the tuktuk, for another bumpy ride back to town.

After a quick shower in our rooms, we went to the cool hangout spot, which was the Otherside. Here, we sat in our new spot, where we could watch the tv show, friends, and I ordered my two favourite baguettes. After eating those, I left Sarah, Duncan and Brandon, where they were, and returned to the room to watch tv, while working on my blog. Half an hour later, Sarah and Duncan returned, to disturb the peace. To keep the running costs of the hotel down, each room would only have power, when the room key was inserted into a socket on the wall. Our room was lovely and cold by this point, as, Brandon tricked the main power switch using the teeth from his comb, which meant we always had power, and our air con, was constantly blowing.

We watched tv together for a bit, before going to book a bus journey, to our next destination in Laos. We didn’t have to go far, as only a few buildings up the road, we found a place, where for ninety five thousand kip (roughly eight pounds) we booked a coach to Louang Prabang. With that settled, we returned to the hostel to hang out with Brandon in his room. We informed him of the coach Sarah and I just booked, to which he said he’d join us on. While Sarah looked up flights for February (by which time we presumed we’d be done in southern Asia), Brandon, messed about with the room fan, to stop it rotating. I’m pretty sure, he broke it, but, did his best to put it back to how it was and cover his tracks. After, the three of us left Brandon’s room, to return to ours and share our last night with the wee Scotsman.

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