to Champasak

Thakhek to Champasak
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And a bigger scale. You can see we’re tracking the river. We think it’s cool that we’ve followed it off-and-on since northern Yunnan. It’s extraordinary and we love it
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Otherwise, it’s been a dry, dusty ride down. But we stopped at this small lake
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Very hot, low humidity so not so bad
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Mekong alluvial flats. Must be an incredible sight in rainy season
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To our destination, an amazing spot for Christmas
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The day after arriving we head off on Lucinda to Wat Phu (or Vat Phou) past this lake
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Our first Khmer Temple and it’s almost beyond belief. The site is chosen because (out of sight here) a mountain top peaks in the shape of a linga, a phallus shape. So lingas line the avenue to the beginning of a climb. It’s fantastic. Worth a read, the wiki link
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The first set of steps
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For some reason we don’t take more photos through the various levels. But way at the top, on a large ledge, is a stunning 11th century sanctuary
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The 900 year-old reliefs sheltered under doorways.
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Shiva!
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Just a little higher is a cliff
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Under the cliff a trough runs water into stone container bathing a small linga under the water. This is the original feature of the Wat
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Small sticks are placed under overhangs, supporting the vast mass above as a reminder of something
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A few hundred feet away, a young couple pray to Shiva
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The view down. My pictures do no justice to the beauty and impact of this place
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Back to the town of Champasak. A lovely small town
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School’s out
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But generally the Laos pedal under umbrellas. Not only for protection against the sun, but also protection against darkening. In SE Asia, the whiter the skin, in their eyes, the more attractive
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We’re going to be in our place for a while, so we spend a fair bit of time out on the river. This is our usual boat. No, we never use the chairs
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Shelves cut into the riverbank for planting in dry season
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Our swimming spot
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The only ‘beach’ for miles apparently. We park right on the point
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Teams of snails race along the waterline upstream quickly, for snails. Who knows why
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Unable to find out what this creature is. We saw him twice
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Further along our beach
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Night on the river
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My Billabong shirt, gone
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Then one morning, my friend went into town on her scooter. Soon after I had a call from the front desk, she was on the phone. She was lying at the side of the road and had hit a cow.

After a fast rescue, the hospital 30 k’s away. A hairline crack in a shoulder bone, a nasty slice up her arm. They were fast, efficient but the equipment was a little desperate. For pain killers they give us take-away morphine, which we thought was a plus
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Our plans on hold, we spent a week here in Champasak, until the day my visa expired, which took away any margin of error.

The Christmas Lucinda shot
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