Monday, 23 June 2008

Friday 6th June

Breakfasted at where else but the Ancient Cafe at the far end of the main touristy drag opposite the tribal market. I made the mistake of buying a chicken and salad butty from one of the stall holders the other morning and ever since she seems to be able to spot me a mile off and greets me with a massive 'Sawadee' and even bigger smile.

Hired a motorbike for 7 days (Honda Baja), took it on a test drive, the chain was as loose as a Bangkok hooker so had that fixed. The hire firm are Green Discovery who specialize in elephant rides and treks and so forth, but they are also recommendedby gt-rider as a reliable source of motorbikes. The young lad spoke good English and was very helpful. After signing my life away and leaving my passport I took the fettler out on a 60k spin to Tat Kuang Si which is a beautiful collection of multi-tiered waterfalls tumbling over limestone formations into a series of cool turquoise-green pools. Sadly I rocked up at closing time (5pm) and didn't fancy the 20,000 kip price tag to get bitten alive at Mozzy Hour, not did I take kindly to the gypo trying charge me 2,000 kip for parking my bike. Grrrr! Apparently the waterfalls are very pretty and you need at least a coupe of hours to explore them and swim in the various pools. Not much point in me hanging around this sugar trap so I hammered it straight back to LPG, watched a game of eleven a side at the LPG footy ground then saw more of the town in 5 minutes on a bike than I had the previous 4 days on foot. Since Chaing Mai I had forgotten how muh freedom a bike an give you. Just five minutes on the bike and you are out of 'frarang' territory. Joy.

After a brief six-headed shower I joined the girls for a meal of steamed catfish and sticky rice before heading to Nau's sports bar for some tennis action (Roland Garros, Federer beat the theatrical but oh so French 'runner up' Monfils. We stayed up late back at the girls place knowing that this was our last night together. Between us we seemed to have clicked, despite us all being quite different. Heather and Sarah are quite different but seem to compliment each other well as travelers, they look out for each other which is what you need in a strange place where you do not fully understand the culture an don't speak a word of the language.

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