Well, I finally made it…and what a day it was. I calculated that I spent 12 hours on planes yesterday. Singapore is one hour ahead of Thailand and the Seychelles is 4 hours behind Singapore. So i had to jump ahead and then fall behind..which made the flight 7 hours. Wasn’t quite prepared for that. Oh yes, and a monsoon came in from Madagascar yesterday, so it was raining when we got here. Also the tiny airport transports the luggage from the plane to the conveyor belt one trip at a time, so I had to wait nearly an hour for my luggage. And due to the storm the flight left late, so I officially stepped over the customs line sometime after 5:00 am. Then the immigration officer that had stamped my passport invited me over for coffee, hey why not. so we sat and chatted and I finally got a taxi to the guesthouse around 6:00 am. But you see I’m quite adjusted to Thai time, so it was really 9:00 am by then and I was wide awake. So when I got to Beau Vallon I was pretty wired so I just went out and walked the beach and sat on one of the many gigantic granite boulders for about an hour. Anyhow, it really is picturesque here. There are huge mountains and with the storm there was a lot of cloud cover whirling around. The people here are very friendly, but in a very different way from the Asians. Tomorrow looks to be more clear and I should be recovered from the journey and jet lag by then to due more exploring of the island.
But now I have to back track a few days to Laos and tell you about the final days there. What an amazing country that is. Very poor, but very natural. And since it is not your typical tourist stop the people are not so used to foreirngers, so they are very curious to come up and talk and look at you. I saw tons of caves, which I think I metnioned before. Anyhow, on the last full day there we wanted to go and check out the waterfall. We were origianlly going to rent motor bikes, but then decided for a challenge and to rent mountain bikes instead. For some reason 30 km did not sound like that far! Well, for one thing it was incredibly hot and for another, it was mostly uphill. and for another, the seats were not designed for the human body!!! however, we did make it all the way there…in 2 1/2 hours…meeting several Laos childeren along the way who delighted in giving us high fives as we passed each other. There was still some trekking involved to get to the 4 different levels, which would have not been so difficult had our legs not already turned to jelly from the bike ride. I do have to say that it was absolutely worth it though. It is the most amazing waterfall I’ve ever seen. Khong Xi Waterfall, just outside of Luang Phabang, Laos. We trekked up to the top tier and went swimming there. It was fabulous, especially after the heat. But we weren’t total olympians..our bums convinced us to hire a tuktuk back into town. Look for pictures on the website soon.