Sunday, January 9, 2011

Basking in Tad Lo

It was great to have a nearly bike free day and to enjoy Tad Lo. The magic of this place is its tranquility with quiet running waters. It was good to get up late and this we did. We all ended up sitting on the balcony wrapped up in blankets in the cold morning, watching the waterfall in all its majesty until our stomachs rumbled for breakfast.

Seisu’s breakfast was very decent as I enjoy good baquettes which the Laotians perhaps through the French have learned to master. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

We then hung around the waterfall and perched ourselves at the best spots to soak in the view and bask in the sun. Moments like this remind me of Psalm 23rd where we enjoyed a time of quiet reflection at the year that has just gone by so quickly.

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths. (TLB)

With great reluctance, we wrestled ourselves out of Saise Resort at noon, and moved 1km to Tad Lo Lodge across the falls. At double the price with half the views, we weren’t jumping up and down but it was certainly more upmarket in facilities and service. We caught up on laundry, enjoyed a picnic lunch and was joined by Blackie the dog. Wanted to do an elephant ride but it was booked out!

The manager told us about a dam 5km away and we decided to explore that with our bikes. So much for a bike free day! Turned out it was a nice enough ride except she didn’t tell us about the steep hills and it ended up 12km. Rode past 2 quiet villages and crossed a bridge with views of the mountains. To see another waterfall, we needed to hike 1.5km so we ditched that plan and return via the main road. We were rewarded with another high speed descent but that only served to warn us about the climb we had to do early morning the next day. We chilled out soaking in the cool natural pools with glee.

Dinner was at the famous Tim’s from LP fame. This Laotian guy speaks fluent English as well as several other languages. He also charges internet at US$6 per hour, supposed to be in aid of building a school. While waiting for our dinner, he had a guitar which Celia played and we had a sort of pre-dinner karaoke which was very special.

Basking in Tad Lo certainly was a wonderful start for the New Year.

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