So I kind of missed my final night in Laos due somewhat to just my own stupidity. Two days earlier I was choosing a tour for my final day in the city of Luang Prabang and I figured I wouldn’t mind riding an elephant and spending the day with them so I found the tour I wanted, matched prices, and was good to lock it in – but thought I’d research first. Turns out most of them actually mistreat and abuse the elephants so I decided I wasn’t going to have any of that and boycotted all of them. I ended up at an eco-friendly agency which offered hikes to see remote villages, and gives a lot of the money back to these villages (They’re crazy-poor) so they said it’s not too difficult or anything and probably just a stroll for me so I locked it in. That night I went out and had a huge one (But this is a public blog so we’ll just skip over that part) and long story short ended up back home at 5:30AM and then got up 2 hours later for the hike. What a nightmare that turned out to be.
We begin the hike, and I’m still drunk (among other things) and feeling the effects of the night before but I figure a stroll is a stroll. Four hours later it became evident this wasn’t just a fucking “stroll.” It was an eight-hour intense mountain hike. I was climbing up and down through steep forest terrains while absolutely drenched in sweat. To make matters worse, our tour guide didn’t seem to give a shit and just ran off to make phone calls or walk with the only other guy on the tour, who was a soldier from Denmark. So multiple times there I was in neck high plants and shrubbery with no real path in sight, in a part of the country known for having millions of unexploded land-mines, with no idea where the fuck the useless tour guide or army dude were. All I could think to myself was I could just be riding a goddamn elephant right now. That, and I hope I don’t suddenly explode.
When I thought it couldn't get any more tragic, it started pouring down with rain and the now established path turned into a complete mudslide. I went the whole holiday without falling down, but I managed to fall about 19 times. At one point I was literally face down on the ground trying to crawl up this path without managing to even get a grip before sliding back down. There I was, laying there exhausted, tired, and covered in sweat, rain, and abrasions. It was that exact moment that several locals casually walked on by me in flip-flops up the mountain. They legit just didn’t give a fuck. I couldn’t believe it. So there went my self-esteem too. Eventually we made it to the village and I had 2-minute noodles and no one understood what I was saying, so it was more or less just like being back in Sydney. I still enjoyed it though.
We finally made it back to the boat, and even the soldier dude admitted that was the most intense experience of his life, and he was a goddamn soldier. I got back home, passed out, missed a pre-organised farewell going out with all the friends I made in the city, and woke up at 5AM the next day to begin my first flight home. Luckily I pre-emptively set the alarm on my phone.
This sort of just turned into a massive whine, so to make up for it here are a couple photos from the day so you know this is all legit.
– Lonely Kids Club