Oct 27 2007

Luang Prabang, kayaking

Published by at 11:57 pm under Scott's Adventures,Uncategorized

Another very early morning to catch the van for a river trip to see the Kuang Si waterfalls. First stop, though, is the elephant camp. We pile onto the elephants two-by-two, and tromp through the forest, very slowly (elephants appear to travel about the same speed as turtles). We stop briefly for the elephants to wallow in the river (us still astride), and return in time for lunch (the elephants anyway ;).

We’re exploring the river by Kayak today, and we drybag our cameras and Janise and I work out the kinks on steering. We don’t have far to go before we reach the waterfalls, and we’ve worn our bathing suits for the occasion. The water is refreshingly cool, and we explore the multiple levels of the falls taking an opportunity to cool off in each pool in the shade of the Banyon trees. With a little downtime in the water, we have a chance to get to know the other kayakers, and become fast friends. Before we know it, we’ve spent several hours swirling in the currents and climbing the vines, and we’re behind schedule.

We jump back in the boats and resume down river. Here we find the beauty I sometimes forget exists outside Hollywood movies and filtered photography; it’s real, and the real thing cannot be captured on film (or CCD). The mist rising over deep waters, deep green jungle drooping into the bourbon river, the wide, total silence only broken by the sound of our paddles cutting the water – I try to recall how many times I’ve heard such a delightful “nothing,” not even the distant, low white noise the seems to always accompany mankind, not even the background of insects (oddly)… just peace.

We take a quick break to see the gravesight of a French explorer, and decide what to do – if we continue down the river, we’ll be in nightfall long before making out port, so we decide to travel just a little further to hit the rapids, and pull out early. Janise and I reverse kayak spots, hit the rapids and immediately flip over. These are pretty tame rapids though, and we have fun struggling to right the boat, and we don’t so much as lose a hat 😉

After loading the kayaks into the van, we decide to all meet for dinner. We find a nice table BBQ joint, and sit down and trade stories over beer, sizzling meat and boiling veggies. We have a fantastic time, the food’s delicious, and for $3 each, a real bargain.

No responses yet

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.