Miller and the Tadlo Falls Adventure Part I

So the next day I was on the bus to Tadlo falls. It was only $2 on the bus and I was told the place was 2 km from the road where I would be dropped off…..and this bus was an adventure in itself…..it carried everything on it!!!!!! From sacks of flour (which I helped the driver carry down the eisle….he was sweating his nuts off and was grateful and surprised of the help, but a couple of pairs of hands make for light work and I managed not to break into a sweat!!!)….to livestock ….boxes of this and that………and at one point we stopped to take a consignment of 15 ft lengths of 6 be 2 wood!!!!!….which sat down the eisle!!!

…..oh….and a few human passengers, including me….the only foreigner. It has to be said though….the humans appeared to be the least priority to the bus company, as all the “goods” had gotten the best seats!!!!:-) Still…..after you’ve been on a public bus in Laos, you’d realise its much more comfortable to sit on a sack of flour!!!!! Theres no leg room whatsoever and the seats appear to have been designed to accommodate a bunch of extras from the beginning of the yellow brick road in the wizard of oz!!!!!:-)

As I said, Tadlo turned out to be exactly what I needed at that moment in time as the past couple of weeks had been……..in the words of Vinny Jones and his 2 smoking barrels………emotional!!! :-)……

If you look back over my first emails I mentioned about Silnoukville (Cambodia) and that it rained all week….and that’s true…….. but in the lyrics of buddy holly……it was also “raining in my heart”;-)…….oh my god!!!…….what a wanker! I really am!….I’m leaving that in though……there comes a point where somethings so bad its good!!!! Look at Eddie the Eagle Edwards for fucks sake!!!!!! 🙂 But the truth really is it was one of the toughest times for me.

Since I’d left, Nicole had been saying she’d wanted to join me and was even saying she was sorting out her visa for Australia…..but nothing seemed to be happening and she appeared indecisive about the move……which I could understand in the circumstances, but I needed an answer one way or another…….but she wouldnt give me one…….her words were telling me one thing (that she wanted to join me)……but her actions were telling me something completely different (that she couldnt be fucked to)…..it was screwing my head up.

I felt like I was be made to hang on the end of a piece of string. Weeks were flying by and she didnt appear to know what she wanted to do………what was I supposed to do?……I didnt know…….all I knew was that I loved her and that I was prepared to do anything so that the dream of her joining me could be realised…………so I tried to understand where she was at ( I knew how hard it must be coming out of long relationship….having freedom for the first time and its a big step at anytime in your life to take your first step and travel)and called her regularly in what I thought would give her reasurance that I was there and I was being real about my intentions.

But everytime I spoke to her, she seemed less happy to hear my voice, although the words she used when she spoke to me were still full of love and optimism. It was confusing me and not making me feel good…..aswell as the fact that she consistently didnt keep her word when she promised to send a text or email…….I’d never asked her to promise to text or email me, but when someone does make that voluntary commitment and it doesnt materialise…..it doesnt make you feel very good…..especially when you’re in the arse end of nowhere and you’ve been making an effort to fulfill you’re promises……..successfully!!!

*And a word of advice………dont ever promise to send a text, letter, email or make a phone call to someone at a certain time when their travelling if you feel you cant keep to that commitment……..when you’re travelling on your own somewhere, with no one close to you about, those promises have a great deal more significance to your day, and when they dont materialise…..it doesnt feel good at all………..better to just suprise that person with your call or whatever……..that’ll mean the world to them!!!!:-) *

Personally, I never make a promise if I think there may be a chance I cant fulfil it…….and if I dont happen to fulfill it then there’ll be a damn good reason why……and the excuses of mickey mouse will be nowhere on the scene!!!! 🙂 But then, when those messages did materialise….they were deep and amazing….in every aspect except that of letting me know what was going on!

For days I wandered around with a pain around my heart that I pray I never have to experience again. From the moment I woke up till the moment I fell asleep, I felt like someone had put their hand deep within my chest, was pulling and trying to rip my heart out. I just wanted to be with Nicole. Every night when I returned to bed I just cried my eyes out…..for ages…..I was finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that I’d be shown something so precious….and then had it almost immediately been taken away from me……I was losing hope that she’d ever join me and it felt so cruel. I almost wished this love thing had never happened….but then I thought….you know what Lee….you’ve been lucky enough to experience something so special, no matter how long it lasted, you know true love is real now………it exists and its possible to feel like that about someone. Some people never get the chance in their whole lives to experience that .

And when I thought like that….I immediately felt better….well at least for 5 minutes…..then I was back to feeling sorry for myself again!!!!!!! 🙂 And that sensation was with me until that beautiful lady on the bus going to stung treng…..gave me an egg and shined so much light back into my life that I dont think I can ever repay her.

…………so the bus had dropped me off and I began to walk with my back pack the distance to the falls themselves……not wanting to bother with a ride. It was hot…but I was enjoying the walk and then just as I was on the outskirts of town a Laos woman come and joined me offering to take me to some bungalows for accomodation…….and bloody hell……for some reason……this woman had something about her…..

…..and bloody hell she was doing it for me!!!!! I’m walking along with her, with me back pack on, talking sweet nothings…..and she was giving me a… ahem!!!!! 😉 I could’ve done her there and then….the only draw back being that in Laos its ILLEGAL for a foreigners to sleep with their women!!!! How fucked up is that!!!!……….you lose control of your sexual urges and you’re looking at a stretch in a communist prison!!!!!…….She had a kid, but she seemed to be giving me the eye too!!!! Arrgggh….I couldnt handle this temptation “Take me anywhere you want, just make it fast!” I said as we walked along flirting abit along the way.

So I checked into her families lodgings and got a room for $1 a night…..it was cheapest anywhere I’ve been, the place also looked and felt so nice, and the people so friendly…….I immediately figured I’d stay for a while……and I really wouldnt mind….. ……arghhhh ………dont go there!!!!;-) It has to be said, Laos woman are gorgeous!!!! No wonder there were laws!!!!:-)

So I settled in and went out to do some exploring…. and Tadlo was so much more then I expected!!!

Love and Light,

Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi from Chiang Mai (the first email)

Well, I know its been a while since I’ve been in touch with alot of people, but now feels like the right time to start mailing and keeping you in the picture. Loads of shit has happened since I set off at the beginning of June, and pretty much all of it has been cool as!

I’m in Chang Mai, Thailand, at the mo having a wickid time….. but this time a week and a half ago I was sitting in Lynmouth, North Devon, re-charging me batteries!!!…..Crazy shit, I know….. but its the type of shit I love!

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Ok….this is what happened. I was in the Jungle in Northern Laos on this thing called the Gibbon Experience……

*pukka experience…. this french geezer has built tree houses connected through the jungle by zip lines which are up to 400m long and up to 300m high across the jungle valleys………. fan-fucking-tastic!!!! The deal is you try and see the Gibbons, but I just got hooked on running along the jungle trails and doing these zip lines…..if the Gibbons wanted to join me they were more than welcome….otherwise I was quite happy to let them swing freely in the trees undisturbed. I didnt give a monkeys to be honest with ya!….that was so bad 🙂

…….and was in this tree house, in the most remote spot I think I’ve been-45 minutes trek and 4-5 zip lines from the next nearest human being and miles from the nearest village. Anyway, as I sat there wacthing the sun set I thought…..you know what…I wanna go to Devon to whats still my most favourite place in the world, and I dont particularly wanna be in Bangkok for my Birthday being offered “ping-pong” shows and being acosted by lady boys telling me “they’ll love me long time”. NO…..I WANTED TO BE IN A PUB WITH MY FAMILY DRINKING A PINT OF PROPA BEER!!!!!! And there was a couple of people it was important for me to see.

So with that decided, I was heading for home. I got back on the 3rd Aug and flew back out on the 17th. I’m sorry that I didnt get in touch with everyone, please dont take offence…it wasnt personal, its just I had a limited amount of time and alot I needed to do….and I also discovered I was completely cream crackered and had been running on adrenelin for my journey back. As soon as I stopped I felt wasted!!! But I tell you what…if you ever experience the sense of freedom you feel to do something like that, its absolutely 24 carrot PUKKA!!!!

Anyway, I was glad I did it, not least cos there’ve been floods here which I would have been caught up in if I hadnt followed my heart and popped home!!! And I got to have my 30th in a pub….fantastic!!!….. yeap….. Millers 30 now…. shut the fuck up….. its all good and I’ll still rock you under the table!!!

So my trip so far has been……

Bangkok- lots of partying, cool time, saw thai boxing and avoided “ping-pong shows”.

Angkor – Magical time, was there for summer soltice-cycled along the jungle road in pitch black to get there for sunrise, just using the siloutte of the trees against the night sky as a guide, propa adventure!!! Felt like indiana Jones alot of the time, climbing and chilling in various ruins. Met a cambodian girl who had a moped, so she let me drive it and we visited sites miles away…cool as. Her brother was an English teacher so I ended up teaching English in a little village school opposite Angkor wat!…..yeah me…teaching english……to cambodian kids…….in cambodia….you cheeky bastards!…..I do speak english you know….at least a varient of it!!!….. but it was fun. I almost got them singing “I’m forever blowing Bubbles”, but after the Micheal Jackson incident I didnt think it was a good example to be setting kids 🙂

Angkor Watt

Phenom Phen- Met a Scottish geezer whos lived there for 15 years and who turned out to be the biggest drug dealer in Cambodia. He invited me down to his pad by the lake. It was cool as…. really colonial looking. The geezers got a bloody armoury of weapons for when the police raid him…… which they’ve done twice….. last time about 6 months ago!!! Apparently they had a face off for two days. In the end Wayne said him and his boys started throwing beer cans in the air and shooting them. The police didnt like that….got their uniforms wet! He was a cool geezer, as long as you’re on the right side of him….I could tell he was the type you wouldnt choose to cross though!!! Was telling me about his attempts at Thai boxing though…. he goes “Lee…. its like fighting someone with 4 arms…. you aint got a chance!!!”

I went Thai boxing training a couple days ago…… bloody hell….i t was good, but theres some hard bastards there! If a little yellow dude treads on my toes in a bar over here…..I think I’m gonna buy HIM a beer!!!!

With that ladies and gents, I’m gonna call it a day for now…. just realised I’m writing a novel!!! Anyway, if you’ve been polite enough to read all of this… thanks for your attention….if not, then I can call you anything I want cos you aint gonna see……. YOU BLOODY MERCHANT BANKER!!! 😉

To be continued

Love and Light,

Miller

Hi from Pai (the second email)

Well I’ve moved on in the past coupla days. At Pai now, cool place but parts have been devastated by the floods. On a two day white water rafting trip tomorrow. Meant to be 60 good rapids…. hoping for some grade 5’s!!!

Anyway…. (haven’t got a camera, so gonna use these mails as a diary to keep things fresh in my memory… reckon that’s the best camera you’re ever gonna have)….. so where was I……

Oh forgot to tell ya about this thing I started doing in Angkor, which I’m gonna call reverse bartering…… I was in this market, just taking the piss basically and having a bubble with the people. Got to this one stall where I was just being cheeky with the girl asking the price of every item she had…. you know the score… “How much is that? Ok…how about that?…..how much is this?”. Just carried on until she clocked on and she started having a bubble with me back. Then I saw this Budda that I immediately fell in love with and I asked how much it was. She said “I’m not telling you”…. I was like “No way…. I’m serious now, I really want it, how much is it?” She was like…. “Dont care…too much for you mister!”. “You’re having a bubble bath” I said.” Please tell me”.
“$18″ was the reply…….”$10″ I said……”$14″ she said…..”$11” I went on….”Cannot…$13″….I was like “Ok, $12 then”…….then she said ok with a really down look on her face. I repeated “So $12 then” and she just nodded looking pretty dismal. So I went on “All right then….$13″…..she looked all confused and said “What?”…….I was like”Gor Blimey love….you drive an hard bargain….$14 and thats my final offer….aint budging!”……she said ” You sure?”…..I said”Yep”….and she gave me one of the biggest smiles I think I’ve ever received and we had a good laugh!!!

So, basically, to reverse barter you get the dude or dudess down to a rock bottom price, and then, once they’ve agreed, you start bartering back up again. After the poor bleeders initial look of confusion…. you get the biggest smile in the world…… now that’s priceless!!!

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Another thing happened in Angkor while I was out with Te on the moped at one of the sites. We just left a site and as usual you get all the kids coming up and trying to sell you….. well… shit basically. Anyway, as they’re all gathering round, suddenly they all jumped back and started to run away. As I turned round I got the shock of my life… which thankfully and pleasingly, for me, only lasted a second…. right by my shoulder was the poorest creature I’ve ever seen in my life. It was a girl with the most deformed features I’ve ever seen…. she didn’t look human…. she looked as if she’d been caught in some kind of blast and burnt horrifically…. and I mean horrifically. I regained my composure and looked into her eyes, smiled and asked if she would like something to drink. She nodded in response and I said “Come on then” and we went over to a drinks vendor. As I joked about with her, my heart was just saying reach out and hug her, it’ll be alright….. but there was this horrible thing that was niggling at me….. that horrible thing was fear….. “What if she’s got some kind of disease”….bullshit innit….Princess Diana didn’t worry about that when she cuddled those kids with Aids.

As me and Te sat in this resturant I watched the girl as she hobbled along by the crowded stalls across the roads. People were literally running away from her, clearing a path wherever she walked…. it was terrible. I asked Te to ask the owner what had happened to her but didnt get an adequate reply. I was thinking what it must be like to spend your life with people not wanting any contact with you…. and running!!! Then I thought… bollocks to it… it’ll be alright…. so I got another plate, put half of my meal on it and started walking towards where I last saw the girl with the intention to give her a hug and some food. As it happened when I found her she was sitting, so I just crouched beside her, gave her the meal and, reassuringly, rubbed her shoulder and back. Everyone seemed to be watching me…. I hope they learned something.

Three weeks later I was in southern Laos and talking to this aussie bird. She started telling me about this story she heard about in Cambodia. A family accidently spilled some boiling water on they’re new born baby. As the child was growing up they noticed she got more money then their other kids begging because of her scars….. so you know what they did…… they boiled a pot of boiling water and poured it all over her!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT KIND OF REALITY COULD YOU BE LIVING TO BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT!!!!!!!….. to your own child! How disconnected from your humanity could you possibly be???????????? I know the story was about the girl I’d met…. I just know it. I asked the question and I got the answer. Nothing can justify something like that…. no form of desperation….. its evil, pure evil. But they need to be forgiven….. they know not what they do.

I’m gonna have to leave it there. sorry.

Love and Light,

Miller

P.S. Just been considering not sending that last story…. but like I said at the top, these mails are gonna be the diary of my experiences as I continue on this journey. If you have no wish to receive them, just let me know or block my email. Its all gravy baby!

 

 

Miller and the Adventure from the Edge… of Laos!

Well Gor bloody Blimey!!!!! You’re still reading after that melarchy!!!!! 🙂 Its nice to know…..or not know as the case may be!!!! I know it might be a bit deep at times….but the thing is……

……..if you start looking at life and the universe as being just energy………then we’re all made of the same shit…..and I am you as much as you are me………so what the fuck is there to keep from eachother?….we’re all part of the same life experience……..so why not feel free to share it!!!! I dont feel I have to hide any part of me………I feel FREE……..and being able to express your emotions to anyone on any level is an ultimate freedom (and thats not saying you have to!!!!).

Thats why I love the friendships I have with and working with adults with learning disabilities…………. they’re among the most REAL people on planet earth!!!!!!……. And the most human. Whatever they express, whether its postive or negative, is the truth of who they are in any given moment! So dont pity them……they’re among the luckiest people alive!!!!!!……..they’re freer then you and me in many ways and they’ve chosen that life experience anyway…..who are you to judge their decision…..you dont know what they’ve come here to learn! 🙂

So I’m gonna Carry On…….Carrying On…….and what a Bloody Carry On!!!!! 🙂

Oh my God, the time has come…………..so get ready to give the biggest welcome and a masSIVE round of applause, to the one, the only……..the one thats not phoney……. The Un……Disputed….the one thats not muted…………….ADDDDVVVVENTUURREEESSS IN LAAAAOOOSSS!!!!!!…………….we got Laos in da hoooouuuuusssssse!!!!!! 😉

PREVIOUSLY ON THE ADVENTURES OF MILLER (septic tank accent)……….mental trip up along the river in the fastest boat in the east of Cambodia, reaching the boarder and blagging the official, denying him a bribe, but then giving him a beer (cos he seemed a decent bloke) and receiving a cheer from all the other boarder guards, going off into the distance ready to confront the Laos boarder police…….

AND NOW THE CONCLUSION OF “FROM THE EDGE OF LAOS” (yankie accent again!!!)……

…………….So we were crossing the border armed only with a loolly pop (and some sweets that the Korean girl had in her possession)…..as you know, I’d generously given away part of my armoury after suceessfully negotiating a path through the Cambodian boarder……and the guard was probably already drinking the cheeky pigs ear and enjoying the effects of alcohol intoxication as we crossed the river into the Laos!;-)

I’d seen the Laos flag flying about 800 yards down the river, but the boat driver refused to drop us there, instead dropping us on the opposite side to the Cambodian passport control, which meant we were gonna have to walk the rest of the way…….merchant banker!!!!

But as we got off the boat, the scam became clear….there was a load of muppet…..I mean moped……drivers trying to give us a lift there claiming the check point was 2 km away…….. “No thankyou and no its not…… its about 800 yards thankya very much” I declared thinking “Fucking twat…. and what kind of monkey do you really think I am?”. So off we walked, at their displeasure.(oh….they were so upset!!!!;-))…… and me hoping that the flag I saw was the check point after all!!!!! :-)…..and as we approached it turned out it was….thank fuck for that!!!!!

So, feeling confident after our last encounter, yet still a bit apprehensive because of the warnings, we approched the passport control, which was just a shack with a gate in the middle of dusty clearing in the jungle….it goes through your head just to walk around it….but you immediately think better of that idea…….that would really be walking into the unknown……especially with all the mines and the unexploded bombs the Yanks have kindly donated to the area!!!!!

So the passport official saw us and went and stood by his desk, immediately demanding $2 to pass…………now $2 is nothing in the grand scam of things….but its the principle which really rocks my boat!!!! Why the fuck should you ever have to pay a bribe to do something you already have a RIGHT to do…..I’d already paid $30 for my visa!!!!! And the Canadian guy felt the same….so we started the game of cat and mouse…….and right from the off, it was clear this geezer didnt have a sense of humour!!!!!

……And that annoyed me even more……if you’re doing something which is a bit moody…..at least have the decency to play the game a bit!!!! He sat there like he was the king and just looked at us if we were a couple of monkeys…..the geezer werent budging, and nor were we and in the end got up and joined the rest of the boarder “guard” ferturnity. Based on my experiences of corrupt boarders in Africa (I once waited 5 hours before I got through….. but without paying a bribe!!!!) I thought “Fuck it then….we’ll sit this one out aswell then you wanker!!!!”.

But after half hour we called him back to discuss further the affairs of money and crossing the boarder……….and in midst debate, the Korean girl pulled out her sweets and put them on his desk offering them as a bribe!!!!!! Oh my God…..did he not like that!!!!!….you should have seen the look on his boat race!!!!…….he gave the filthiest of looks and slammed them all back infrount of her………shouting something in Laos and scarpering away again!!!! It was quality:-)….but I figured I’d better keep my lollipop under wraps!!!!!! 😉

Then this German couple turned up and we explained what the deal was with the officials, and I told them “You gotta pay $2 to get through…….TWO DOLLARS!!!” I said raising my voice for comical effect, but also to make a point!!!!………..And FUCK……you’ll never guess what happened next…………

The official geezer came running from his table….shouting at me in Laos, patting his hand on his gun by his waist and then hand signalling he’d put hand cuffs on me!!!!! FUCKING HELL….I didnt expect that reaction……the air had suddenly become like a tinder box….and I could feel how much I was living on the edge…….everyone drew breathe……..except me…….I just looked at him, smiled and said…….. “I was only joking”. Its strange….but even though I was on the edge……I knew I hadnt crossed it….but I have to admit……..my toes were so far over the edge I was practically standing on my heels!!!! 🙂

I honestly didnt feel any fear at that moment though….somehow I still felt in control…….and its amazing how a smile can defuse any situation!!!!!!!……but I tell you what…..if it hadnt been for there being other westerners present….I reckon I would have been in serious trouble…..but then again if they hadnt been there, I would have read the situation differently and not have taken the liberties I had……I feel I’m pretty good at pushing things to the limit….and realising when the limit has been reached…..at least I hope so!!!!

Well, the geezer calmed down and after seeing that shannagan….the Germans opted to pay up and shut up straight away!!!!! And quite frankly…….we followed suit quick smart!!!!! Only after the guard had seen the Germans off…..he went and sat down ignoring us…..and in the end after gentle persuassion that we were gonna pay, another “official” came to our aid and accepted our bribe……….and we just wanted to get the fuck out of there!!!!!

laos

We caught up with the Germans who were negotiating a taxi truck ride. Spencer and his missus the Korean, were going on about 4 thousand island…..I’d planned to go to Pakse, but was happy to go with the flow, and the Germans seemed to also. So on we jumped heading for 4 thousand island……reliving the events of what had just happened “How close was that?” I said and then “That was quality with the sweets though!!!!! Respect!!!!”….and everyone laughed….but it was a nervous kinda laugh……we all knew that things could’ve turned out very differently……but we were pleased with the fact that even though we’d succome to giving a bribe……..we’d done it with the biggest and juciest middle-finger raised possible!!!!! Respect to that!!!!! 🙂

……….but never again!!!!!…….CAN THIS TRUCK GO ANY FASTER!!!!!!!!!! 😉

We arrived at the ferry point for 4 thousand island, and by then the germans had changed their mind, wanting to go to Pakse…but that truck wouldnt take them there….it was about a 3 hour drive. I had the feeling I should really go to Pakse….so said we could share a ride there. So we left the Canadian couple to their own devices and went to sort out finding a ride…..but the little….well I dont know what it was?…..couple of rows of buildings?……..didnt show much promise and it was a good 20 minutes before we negotiated a ride to Pakse for $30…….and we made it clear about the conditions!!!

It all seemed to be gravy…….we were going faster then a speeding Lada….and leaving the boarder thankfully far in our wake!!!! But then after two and a half hours the truck pulled over at a “bus” station (to be honest it was more of a mud station) in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by mountains and was wondering what was going on and then the driver got out of his cabin and told us to get off, while unloading all of our stuff.

“Bro whats going on…..this blatently aint Pakse” I said….”Pakse…..you get Tuk Tuk” he ordered.

What the fuck?……We hadnt paid anything yet and was a bit miffed at what was going on……the deal was he give us a lift to Pakse and we were still around half-hour away!!!! Me and Martin were looking at eachother wondering what to do and asked how much a tuk tuk for the rest of the journey would be “$3” he replied. So Martin goes “Ok….we give you $27 then”…which I completely agreed with and we started sorting out $27 between us.

Then this geezer started freaking out shouting “NO!!! YOU GIVE $30” waving his arms about and flying off the handle. So we gets into an argument with this geezer….him being all irate….but us managing to keep our cool….saying the deal was you give us a lift to Pakse and we’re not there so we’ll just give you $27….unless you take us to Pakse.

The geezer was flipping out and getting abusive…..saying “You dont pay…….I take you back!!!!” …..And in the mean time we were guarding out bags while we’d been surrounded by about 15 other geezers, half of which were looking intimidatingly and menacingly at us….the other half with smiles on their faces enjoying our predicament and obviously thinking “You’ve got Bob Hope and no hope mate!!!” waiting for us to kick off……..which, thankfully, we didnt.

Now….I’ve been in quite a few scrapes in my time and I’ve always felt quite powerful and in control thoughout them………… but this was different……….I swear, in all of my days travelling and growing up in London….I’ve never felt like I was in such a powerless position before……..we were in the middle of nowhere….surrounded by a bunch of geezers who looked ready to kick off…..and if it had kicked off, even though there were a few other people scattered about, I knew that no one would’ve come to help us. And unlike the boarder incident, this felt like it was completely out of my control.

The other geezers were informing us that we should pay up and one of them had his tuk tuk ready to take us into town (he seemed like a reasonable fellow actually), but Martin said “No….we only pay $27!!!”…..then the driver shouts aggressively…”I take you back then!!!!!” and grabs my bag and lifts it off the floor…..

…….Now at this point a line had been crossed……….and I had a choice….I knew if I let it go…..we were fucked….so there was only one thing I could do…….so I slammed the bag straight back on the floor and looked the geezer in the eye and stated, in a very powerful voice…”DO NOT……touch my bag….we will sort this out, but DO NOT touch my bag”….I swear….it was a proper Ray Winston moment!!!!! 😉

Now at that point things could’ve gone either way…..we eye-balled eachother for a good 5 secounds and I was ready for the worst and prepared to have it…..but then, luckily, he backed down and released my ruck sack. And I tell you what….if he hadnt done that…..there was no way out……and I very much doubt you would’ve ever heard from me again…..and that is no exageration….I felt it with every ounce of my being…….but I was glad I made a stand….it turned out to be right thing to do.

I turned to Martin and said “Bro, lets just pay and get the fuck out of here hey”….Martin agreed and was actually about to say the same thing, so me, him and his missus paid up and jumped in the tuk tuk and headed for Pakse.

What a fucking day!!!!! I’d been in Laos a little over 3 hours and I’d already almost been arrested and attacked by a mob!!!! And this was the country everyone had been raving about….saying it was so peaceful and the people were amazingly friendly!!!!! What was going on….what had I let myself in for!!!!

We got to Pakse, checked into a hotel and went for a curry across the road, nice place and nice food….my stomach was able to take it which I was so glad about….they even had potatoes!!! How much I prefered potaotoes as a constituant food to rice!!!!! Anyway….we were now enjoying the evening and a beer and reliving the events of the day when I got a tap on my shoulder…….IT WAS LAURA!!!!!!……..

*Lauras a German girl I met years ago when I was working in Strasborg, France. We’d kept in touch and I’d gone over to Switzerland in October 2004 to visit her. I stayed at her place in Basel for a week and she said she’d just got her Kiwi visa and was heading over there in June. We hadnt been in touch since then….but I had a thought on the plane from London to Bankok, wondering if I’d bump into her on my trip…..and there she was!!!!! *

…………Well, it took me a secound to believe my eyes, but you should have seen the look on Lauras boat race, it was a picture, and it took her over a minute to adam and eve her mince pies!!!! Her and her boyfriend joined us for dinner and it was a nice evening. She said they were thinking of going either Tadloe falls the next day or another set of falls in the region. Tadloe falls?……..now I felt a good vibe about that place. Now that’s where I was going next!!!!!

So we ended the evening, with me saying “Maybe I’ll see you guys in Tadlo then”….and said our goodbyes…….and as it happens…….after the events of the last couple of weeks…..Tadloe Falls was exactly what I needed………..

Love and Light,

Miller

Miller and the Point of The Adventures

Well, as you may have guessed by now, the Journey I’m on is more a spiritual one than a physical one. Before I left in June, I’d decided to approach this trip differently to all the other trips I’ve ever made. I was gonna do this one following my heart and intuition entirely, every step of the way.

The week before I left, I hadn’t sorted anything out that you would usually do on such a big trip. I didn’t feel I needed to…..I felt everything was gonna be “cool like the Fonz”. I hadn’t had any vaccinations, hadn’t got any malaria tablets and hadn’t even looked at a map or any travel info connected to any place I was due to go to. I was happy to just get off the plane and just float wherever the flow took me and something was telling me I didn’t need to have any vaccinations anyway (infact, my intuition was warning me against pumping myself full of the shit produced by the pharmaceutical companies!!!!).

A few days before I left, I handed all my sports equipment back into the Leyton Orient FC office and started talking to my mate Trevor about South-East Asia. He’d done all the same shit before and I was asking him if he could recommend anywhere to stay and go in Bangkok, my first port of call. You should have seen his face when I told him I hadn’t got anything sorted……big intake of breath, followed by a big shake of his head and a disbelieving look in his eyes!!!! He looked really worried for me and no matter how much I reassured him that things would be cool, he insisted that I get some malaria tablets, have a typhoid jab and get myself a lonely planet. Then he drew me a map of the area just off of Kohsan Rd where I could get some budget accommodation. Sorted!!!!

After I left and said my goodbyes (Big ups to everyone at Leyton!!!:-) ), I took on board what he had to say and looked into getting myself medically sorted. I ended up getting Malodrone, the only anti-malarial I felt comfortable taking, and they cost me 180 notes!!! Still, I felt better with that then Larium. But my intuition was banging on about the typhoid thing so I didn’t bother…..if I die then its because I’ve chosen to….thats the way I look at life… and I only took a couple of the Malodrone tablets anyway!!!

When I eventually got to Bangkok, I saw a lonely planet on a stall and asked how much it was. The man said 450 and the woman said 500…..I said “He said 450”……she said “ok” giving her husband some evil eyes (my god, he was in trouble when they got home!!!!). I said “No….not ok….400”, she went “420”….I said “400”. She begrudgingly agreed and I could see they weren’t happy bunnies!!! As I walked back to my hotel I passed a 7/11 and saw coffees were only 10 bart each. Seeing as the stall holders looked like they were having a bad day I decided to buy them a coffee. So I ran back to the stall holders and asked if they’d like one. They said yes with confused expressions. 5 minutes later I returned, and they had some massive smiles on their faces. They were well chuffed and very thankful. There you go, I thought, they got their 420 in the nicest possibly way!

Later, as I walked passed the stall that evening, the guy clocked me and come running over with an ice cold bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice. He gave it to me and every time I walked passed after that (which was about 50 times a day!!!!) they always greeted me with big smiles and buckets of waves!!! Lovely Jubbley!!!!

But, the thing with that lonely planet was.…..as I was traveling, I discovered I was hardly using it!!! Everywhere I went I was being directed by “chance”, “luck” and “coincidence”. But I know theres no such thing as any of them! They’re all words used to distract you from the truth of whats going on. Everything that happens is what you create or whats been created for you. Those words are used as explanations of ignorance, and to use them is to dismiss the contemplation of what just happened? Why it happened? And most importantly……HOW IT HAPPENED!!!!!

So I sold it on, and developed my own personal lonely planet which comprised of scrap pieces of paper that people I met scribbled on with relevant information. Thanks for the first piece of paper Trev!!!!!!

You see, westerners live in a disconnected society and culture where the gift of life is conditioned into being seen as a risk. LIFES NOT A RISK!!!!! Not when you realize YOU’RE in control. All this bollocks is just creation of fear…..and some fuckers making a lot of money out of it!

Love and light,

Miller

P.S. Would you believe I’ve still got a box of the “Malarone” tablets in my First Aid Kit!!! They went out of date in 2009 though!!! 🙂

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Miller and the Kings Canyon Adventure Part II

So……….the King and the Canyon 🙂 … (I know, I know….. I’m such a ship and anchor, but you gotta let me off…… I am a Leo after all!!!!)……

…………I’m walking into the distance as fast as my plates of meat will carry me…..just as I like it and leaving dust in my wake :-). Its an absolutely beautiful walk along the base of the Canyon…..with trees hugging the the base peatering out as the canyon becomes steeper at the edges. The terrains quite rugged in patches and it was good fun moving at pace over them.

Although that walk is around a 1 1/2 mile return and the loop around the rim just over 4 miles, the signs always exagerate the times they “warn” you it should take. The rim loop was billed at 6 hours and 1 1/2 hours for the bottom!!!!!! Now…..even though its not a leisurely walk and looked extremely up and down, rugged and demanding……..I reckoned even a slug could do 4 miles in 6 hours!!!!! Bloody muppet Australian sign writers!!!! Always bill things for the very lowest common denominator………the hiker whos already dead on arrival!!!!! 😉 I reached the end within 15-20 minutes!!!!!!!!, had a leisurely sit down and took in the scenery for about 15 minutes (at the end is sacred ground for the Aborigines and theres a viewing area platform to view the rest of the canyon further down which they request you dont enter…..and I could see why…..it did feel very special there).

After that I started heading out back on myself and 15 minutes later, just before I took the turn off for the loop, I crossed the older part of the group and nodded to the driver, who was giving a group lecture on something or other (and who looked both suprised and pissed off at me!). They were gonna spend half a day meandering along that short walk receiving subtle dialogues on each and every piece of flora, fauna and colourful stone they passed!!!!!…..oh my God……I really cant be doing with that kinda shit…….quite frankly……I’d rather be walking to my death!!!!!! 🙂 Stroll on!………

So then I approached the ascent point, which comprises of steep steps going up to the rim. I could see they went for a way before they dipped away at a different angle, obscuring the rest of the trail upwards, so I was unable to see the rest of the group. I was sure they couldnt have got far, so I banged into the assent and was approaching the rim faster then Elton John at a gay orgy!!!!!;-) (was that one in bad taste?…..fuck it….I’m leaving it in!!!!) By the time I was at the top I had caught the rest of the group!!!! This group was alot younger then the rest……..ranging from the late twenties to mid-forties at a guess and seemed to be walking at a reasonable pace. But it wasnt reasonable enough and after a polite chat with “I’ve forgotten her name” I rocked on. She was a nice woman by the way.

So I spent the whole day ducking and diving, taking in the red scenery, walking up to and over ledges, edges and……err…….erm….sledges?….no….er…..wedges!!!!…..that’ll do, nice one!!!:-). At one point I was standing right on the edge of one of the canyon faces (which is surprisingly perfectly smooth all the way down) and looking over it, and this aussie bird goes to me….”You should be careful of the edges….they might give way”. I thought “I’m really not gonna die today love” but just said “Well what a way to go if it does……three secounds of free fall…..FANTASTIC”……yeah, I honestly said that….little did I know how true my statement was at the time!!!!!……..She goes “Well I dont think you’ll get that long”…….so I replies “Well, if thats the case then its not that high then…….so whats to be afraid of!!!!!” 🙂

Anyway, to cut a long story short (for once!!!!!)……I’d spent the day walking fast and chilling in beautiful spots in equal measure, falling behind the group and then overtaking them. It was the like the tortous and the hare….only on this occassion the hare won hands down…..cos when I finally got back to the car park, I got myself an ice-cream and wandered back over to the bus, seeing the driver in his seat…….and guess what the time was…..11.50 am bang on!!!!!!

Now as I approached the door and the driver looked at me, I knew that he knew that I knew that I was there bang on time…..and he knew that I knew that he knew I was there bang on time…..but even though we both knew we both knew that we both knew I was there bang on time….neither of us said a word about it!!!!!! We just exchanged a few pleasentaries as I munched me ice-cream and waited for the rest of the group…..who……turned up at a time sponsored by accurist to be of………12…..23……. precisely……..beep……..beep……..beep!!!! 🙂

And he left their bloody bags on the bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bloody pilchard!!!!

So anyway, it was onto Alice Springs……..and some very significant experiences 🙂 .

Love and light,

Miller

 

 

Miller and the Kings Canyon Adventure Part I

So………..The Canyon and the Adventure of the King 😉 ………

Well, I had to book a mickey mouse tour, over priced to accomodate the wealth of the post middle-aged tourist clientel and release them of their financial burden…. apparently the company wanted to cash in on the green stuff early… before the retirement homes had a chance to take the piss………..and me……… well I was stuck, cos there was no other way for me to get to Kings Canyon and end up in Alice Springs on the same day……. it was a means to an end….. I had the means…….. only after I paid with the means…… I started worrying about my retirement!!!! 😉

When I booked it I asked about the deal when we got there and was informed that I had a chioce of 2 walks……the gorge (just over a mile return) or ridge walk (around 4 mile loop). Yeah right…..I’m doing both i thought. So on the way there, when we stopped at a service station I asked at the counter if the walks were well defined, marked up and easy to follow. The guy said yes and yes and yes, showing me a map of the trails which I memorised…..they were quite straight forward and my minds quite photo-graphic for shit like that. So it was all gravy.

Then as we’re approaching Kings Canyon the driver announces…..”Theres 2 walks and you have a choose which one you want to do…..either the gorge walk with me or the ridge walk with “cant remember her name”. As you’re part of this tour group we can not allow you to do the walk on your own as we have an obligation to your safety and people have got lost and died in Kings Canyon”

WHAT THE FUCK????!!!!! This really made me feel ready for some agro!!!! NO ONE HAS AN OBLIGATION TO ME!!!!! I”M RESPONSIBLE FOR MYSELF!!!…….and while I’m at it……..

FUCK OFF WITH YOUR CREATION OF FEAR!!!!!!!!!! Who died? When did they die? How did they die? What were they bloody doing when they died?!!!!!! YOU DONT KNOW……WELL PISS OFF THEN!!!!! If I die its because I’ve decided to and no one else is responsible!!!! Its because of a decision I made and its my responsibility. If I’m out of this world its because I’ve learnt the lessons I needed to learn in this life and its time for me to transcend to the next…….

…..And…..if I do get into some bother on route….how do you know that I’m not meant to learn something immeasurable from my confrontation with adversity!!!!! How do you know that the universe hasnt lined up a profound lesson for me which will enable be to transcend further along my path!!!!! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO RESTRICT MY FREEWILL?!!!!!!! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU”RE IN A BETTER POSITION TO JUDGE MY REALITY THEN I AM?!!!!!!!!

The answers are you dont and you’re not!!!!! The only thing you have a right to do is what my wonderful parents have done throughout my life……….left me to get on with it…….and be there if I ask for help ( and help is also a choice YOU have whether YOU wish to give or not ).

So when we gets out of the coach I goes up to “cant remember her name” and explains that I wanted to do both walks by myself because thats how I choose to experience the Canyon. She repeated the shit about they’re obligation etc, etc and I replied “Look…..I’m not a muppet and I’m very experienced (I did actually look the part standing there in my Low Alpine shirt, Molecule combat shorts and North Face climbing shoes) and I have 4 litres of water (the muppets had only recommended 1 litre in 35 degree temperatures!!!), a compass with survival kit and a days worth of food (all true….I’m really not a muppet when it comes to this shit). And I’m pretty fast over any terrain and dont enjoy walking slow as part of a group.”

But she continued on her line of “responsibility” shit, so I goes “Look just give me a disclaimer slip and I’ll sign it”. She retorted that they had no such thing, so I continued ” Well I have a pen and paper….. I’ll write a letter disclaiming you’re responsiblity to me then, hows that?….thats perfectly legal”. But she continued “I’m sorry, but I’m afraid we wont be able to allow you to go off by yourself”………..”No?” I replied…..”And exactly what are you gonna do to stop me?!” I said looking her straight in the mince pies!

She suddenly clocked that she had as much hope as Bob after a surname change and No Hope was enjoying a cameo appearance!!!!! 🙂 “I’ll go and talk with the driver” she said, “You go and do that, that’ll be nice” I said as she walked fast in his direction!!!

What happened next was a peach!!!!! As they walked back towards me I could see her telling the story and him nodding in my direction. When he got to me he said “So you want to do the walks on your own”….”Yeap” I said…..”Ok, follow me a sec”. And we went and stood right in the middle of the whole group….about 40 – 50 people…..and he announced, in a semi loud voice…..”Well, if thats the case I want to make it clear, infrount of all these witnesses, that you do so at your own risk. It is 8.50 am now and the bus leaves at 12. If you’re not back at the bus by 11.50 am, I will take your bag off the bus and leave you at Kings Canyon….is that clear?”…….”That….. IS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!!! Thankyou very much!!!!” I declared.

And Miller walked off into the distance with had a big smile on his face!!!!!!……
Loving it!!!!!

Love and Light,

Miller