• Tara B. Vasi

Day 22: Vieng Vang, Laos. Adrenaline bundle, yoga, soccer, Nutella banana coconut pancakes

We are all stoked for the ADRENALINE bundle, kayaking, caving, and the blue lagoon. The tour guides meet us at the hotel with two Tuk Tuks and take us to the river where we will kayak a few miles to where we tube through the caves. We will eat lunch and then kayak back to pick up and then head to the blue lagoon for some swimming.

Kayaking is fun. Bryony and I are in a kayak. We tell Kenny and Owen that if they splash us we are tearing up our friendships contract. We are no longer friends.

The kayak with the Emma and Ryan capsized a few times and I was surprised at how rough the water got at point. It also got randomly shallow and rocky. Bryony and I would be cruising though, having a grand ol’ time and then, smack, we should smash into a rock. The guide was wearing heart shaped glasses and kept splashing us and calling us “Spicy.” I LOVE the word SPICY. I use it when I teach yoga and want to offer a more challenging option. I will say something along the lines of, “Stay right here, or if you are feeling spicy… do this…” I think I need heart shaped sun glasses. I know Katie Boucher rocked some for a while.

We parked the kayaks and walked over a bridge to an area with picnic tables and puppies. Seriously.

People were zip lining and coming and going from the cave tours. We sat and hung out and waited our turn. There were puppies, kittens, and chickens and one of the puppies kept chasing the chicken and it was absolutely adorable.

We went into the dry cave first, called Angel Cave. It was rad. My favorite part of being inside of a cave is being stuck in the dark small breathless hole and seeing the light and the green of the trees peaking out and opening up and that means that you are close to getting the fuck out of it.

We tubes down a river to the other cave. The water was much colder than the other river. We wore head lamps and held on to a rope so we wouldn’t bounce back and forth on the walls like bumper bowling, Lara lost her shoe. We got into the cave and the guide kept shining his head lamp on these huge ass spiders that lived in the caves. We had to walk through these narrow crevasse after seeing the spiders on the walls, and Im just like, why isn’t there a spider woman? I could be spider woman.

There are bats hanging and I can’t breath and I hope they aren’t rabid. Flying rats, yay!

I see the light and Hallelujah we get to leave.

Lunch is fried rice, grilled tofu, pineapple, and cucumber, and bananas and watermelon. My tofu tastes like spongy fish so I feed it to the kittens that are already at my feet.

When I am done eating, I lay in savasana in the grass, feeling blessed for a full belly, sunshine, and freedom. Bryony calls my name and points. I look up and see a bunch of Lao guys laying around me in the grass.

We are all full up from lunch and pretty much let the river take our kayak where it wants and steer enough to avoid capsizing. The ride back is 3 k. We get back to the tuk tuk and head to the blue lagoon, which is 40 minutes or so away.

The lagoon is blue. Its this massive pool with slides, bridges, rope swings, and peaks to jump off of. I climb to the highest peak and look down. Its much higher then it looks and I get kind of scared. I know there’s no way I am walking down the ladder, so that pretty much means there is only one other option. I am scared, but I do it anyway. Thats key right there. Don’t walk back down the ladder. Be scared, that’s ok, but do it anyway.

The water sparked in the sunlight. We all got ice cream and coffee and Ali almost drown again because he still cannot swim.

We head back to the hotel to relax after the long day. I relax for a minute but whatnot to check out this yoga class, so I head to the only yoga studio in Vang Vieng. Its in the Silver Naga hotel. I pay $10, which is the most I have paid so far for a class. The teacher is foreign, but I cannot remember where she is from. I got the feeling she was a newer teacher, but perhaps its just the language barrier. Class was a yin/yang hybrid, so we began class holding postures for a few minutes each and then we flowed in a typical vinyasa flow fashion.

After class I met the crew back at the hostel so that we could go to the soccer pitch. We rented a soccer field for an hour. In the first few minutes I injured my groin area and one of the Lao boys stepped on my foot with his cleat. My ego wanted to stay in, but my decrepit body needed to sub out. I rested for the remainder of the first half and then hoped back in for the second half. The lao guys were fast and tricky and loved toying with us like monkey in the middle.

We got back super late. I waddled to get a falafel (still no meat) and a Nutella banana coconut pancake and then waddled back to my room praying the pancake and rest would repair my groin overnight.


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