Now I must say that Pam and I were optimistic about this tour – and I am not just talking about the adventure.
We were thinking active tour filled with trekking, ziplining, and ferreting would likely lead to one thing – groups of good looking boys! Once again, we were disappointed. Mostly girls and couples – seriously?
But the disappointment stopped there.
We drove out to a remote village outside of Pakse where we were geared up and our guides gave the the low down for the next couple of days.
The first day was filled with trekking, canopy walkways, and our first 8 ziplines! It was amazing – there is nothing quite like flying through the jungle with its incredible scenery of mountains and waterfalls. I could not get enough of it!
Even lunch was an experience served on palm leaves with only our hands to use as utensils!
That night when we reached camp, we all sat around together and finished the day with a couple of beers, a huge dinner and hiked to the waterfall to watch the sunset.
Then, when we were all ready for bed, we strapped on our gear and zipped into our treehouses for the night! One of the coolest things we have done on this trip so far. I mean, seriously? Zipping into bed?
We embraced the adventure as when we climbed into bed at night with our falling apart mosquito nets, full of wholes, as our only protection from the great mother nature.
I had just about settled my nerves at the thought of a huge spider attacking me in the middle of the night, when my roommate eventually says, “I hope there are no mice in the treehouse…they eat meat, you know!”
I mean, seriously? That still makes me laugh!
In the morning, we continued on! We zipped out of our treehouses, loaded up on breakfast and trekked to 10 more ziplines before lunch including the longest line of about 420 metres!
After lunch – things got a little more difficult.
Now the reviews on TripAdvisor we pretty clear that the 2 day tour was NOT a moderate hike like the webpage suggested. Seriously, people were all up in arms about the difficulty level of the tour in their reviews. I was afraid of even doing the ziplining because of their warnings. But after day 1, I thought that those people were crazy because it consisted of normal hiking. I mean, we’re climbing through a mountain (with gear on and backpacks). Of course it’s going to its not going to be like a stroll through the forest.
Sometimes – people disappoint me.
BUT, after lunch, things DID get a little tougher. It was steep, it was hot, my bag felt heavy and I was tired. Also, feretting on the side of a cliff with sweaty hands and a heavy backpack definitely got the best of me. BUT with all of that said, it is still only moderate hike (maybe it’s because I am from Canada?)
I was struggling because, frankly, I am not in my prime shape. I mean, I do stride through the halls at work with above average speed (a nickname of mine may be “Tori-nado”), but that is the extent of my cardio training. Unless, dancing drunk counts too?
Wait – maybe, I am more active than I thought!?…
With that said, 2 days of hiking was still good enough for me!
Here is a video of all the action (yes – I FINALLY figured out how to embed videos)!! And for the record – I did not choose the thumbnail. In fact, I have changed it repeatedly and somehow it keeps pulling up that stupid picture of my face.
I am dealing with it…. sometimes you look like crap travelling and I am learning to embrace this, so I am giving up on trying to change it.
After ziplining, we went back to Pakse for one more night before heading to Cambodia. I have nothing to say about Pakse except that it scares me a little. Overall, it has a pretty sketchy feel. That night we had a room with no windows, there was the sound of gunshots all night (we are confident it was fireworks for Chinese New Year but there was no way to confirm this without a window), and the mysterious knockings at our door in the middle of the night for about an hour pretty much sent me over the edge.
Luckily, we made it out alive!
In the morning, we headed to the 4000 Islands in the south of Laos. We ended up on Don Khong which is pretty undeveloped and super quiet. I thought I had booked on a different island, Don Khone, but this one worked out pretty good.
Pam and I did literally nothing the entire time except talk to friends and family, book hotels around the world, watch TV and eat french fries and ice cream! Because even when you are travelling, you need to have a lazy Sunday (or like 4 in a row). But I am not exaggerating when I say that there was NOTHING happening on this island, so we just embraced every second of it!
After that, we were looking to kick things up a notch, so we headed to Cambodia!