A few days ago I woke up, hearing birds and a strange whistling sound in the distance, cool air all around, a British guy two bodies down. Of course there weren’t any walls, and we were 40 meters off the ground. By twisting my neck I could see mist darting in and out of mountains, changing colors with the sunrise. A new sound entered: a humming, buzzing that alerted us that breakfast was on its way. Sure enough, a man popped his head up through the floor carrying multi-course stacking tins. After breakfast we gathered our few belongings and strapped on our “diaper” of webbing, rope, and caribeners. Clip, clip, one giant step over the tops of trees and distant forest floor and we went sailing through the air, a natural commute to our next destination. : )
No, no not another malaria med dream this time. This really is a typical morning as part of our “Gibbon Experience.” The project was designed to use tourism to help protect the Bokeo Nature Reserve from poachers and other misuse. It also is a surreal (and fun!!) way for travellers to see the amazing landscape and, sometimes, the black-faced gibbon monkeys. We hiked, slept in treehouses, bathed in waterfalls, used the ultimate in “long-drop” toilets, and travelled by zip-lines over treetops.
Now Kristin and I are going to flex our independent traveller muscles. We decided last night that holding Vietnam visas doesn’t require that we actually go there. Sounds simple, but sometimes it’s hard to see the other paths coming off your planned road. So, that means we’ll spend less time dashing off to the east, more time on questionable roads traveling through beautiful Laos, less time in the Southeast Asia tourist conga-line.
“The best way to make the most of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” William Feather