Sunday 24th June – Luang Prabang, Laos
Oh my god… what a hangover! My head is pounding and I really don’t want to get up! I drag myself out of bed, in the shower and then over to the girls guesthouse. Surprise surprise they are still fast asleep! I knew it! When I dragged them out of bed we went and got some breakfast then agreed a price with a tuk-tuk driver to take us to the caves in the morning and the waterfalls in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go back to the waterfall as I have already been and I wanted to look at the white water rafting. I also REALLY need to buy some sunglasses as I either left mine at home, or lost them in Bangkok, so I haven’t had any since I have been here!
The cost for the tuk-tuk for a whole day, to take us to the caves and the waterfall, one 25kms North and the other 25Kms south of Luang Prabang was a staggering US$6! Not bad at all! We also got another couple of people to join us, which helped bring the price down.
The drive to the caves was interesting as there were 3 rather painful hangovers going on, and bumpy Laos roads, and the heat, don’t really help!
When we got to the caves we had to pay extra for the boat over the river to the caves and then extra to get into the caves. So all in all, that part of the trip had cost us about US$5, which is quite a bit in Laos. Unfortunately the caves were not quite what we were expecting. I thought they were going to be a big cave that you ride a boat into with some amazing scenery. Instead, it was quite a small Buddhist shrine with a lot of small statues of Buddha. There was a second level to the caves, which meant climbing quite a few steps, but since we were there and reasonably disappointed so far we had to go see it.
So up we went, hangovers and all…. And at least one of us (not me) managed to be a little “ill” on the way up!! Again, unfortunately, it really wasn’t what we were hoping for!
The cave was pitch black and we ended up taking photos in the dark and then looking at it on our cameras, which kinda defeated the object of being there in person! You could hire torches, but we were so over it by then. Time to get to the waterfall.
We walked back down, got on to the boat, crossed the river and back into the tuk-tuk for a 2 hour journey south back to the waterfall I visited yesterday.
The waterfall was much the same as it was yesterday, but with different people, as the Thai’s would say “Same Same, but different”. We had a lot of fun and swimming was as great as it was yesterday.
On the way home I started to feel a bit of heart burn. Until now I had decided that I wasn’t going to take any Malaria tablets. From the people I had spoken to I didn’t really feel that it was all that necessary, but after talking to a few more of the travellers out here, I decided that maybe I was being a bit too blasé about it and it might be a good idea to take them. I started last night, and the first tablet of Doxycycline I took about 20 minutes after dinner and felt some mild bloating and heartburn. These are common side effects, and other people on the same drug said it is best to wait about an hour after eating then take it, as this massively reduces the side effects.
I hadn’t even taken my tablet yet today, but was feeling a little bit of heartburn on the journey home, but not enough to worry about it. I met all my group for dinner and had a nice chicken sandwich and a fruit shake. I have been craving fruit recently, so think I need to top up the vitamins I am getting from my food. As I ate though, the heartburn got worse and worse, to the point where it was unbearable. I hadn’t even managed to look at the white water rafting for tomorrow, but it was so bad I had to head home. I stopped at the pharmacy on the way back for some ant-acids and a couple of large bottles of water.
John had recommended I just neck as much water as I can to flush it all through and the ant-acids should help settle the acids in my stomach that cause heart-burn. Apparently he gets is quite a bit and is used to it.
I got home, popped 2 ant-acids and drank about 2 litres of water over the next 10 minutes. Over the next hour my stomach did settle and I feel much better. I also thought about whether to stop taking my malaria tablets or risk taking another one to see if the heart burn returns. I decided to give it a go, and I see to feel fine now. I’ll see how I feel in the morning, hopefully I will get to go rafting, but if not, never mind. I will have plenty of opportunity in the future. I bumped into Laura and Renata on the way home, and they are heading off to Viang Vieng tomorrow, so we swapped emails and will hook up in a couple of days when I arrive there.
And now, it is 1:30am! So much for my early night, I am writing my journal instead, but it is definitely time for sleep.