My sunburn isn’t so bad, but just enough to be a reminder of how much time I spent exposed to the deadly rays of the sun. I’ve spent the last two days hiking, kayaking, caving, and tubing. Yes, it’s a difficult life here. Pretty much all of my muscles are spent, though. I sit here comfortable and overwhelmingly happy, even still. I can’t really describe the view of the Laos scenery from the river – it’s unreal; among the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. I have new calouses on my hands from paddling all day, and the bruises from falling into the river at weird angles yesterday have healed. We took breaks on our kayaking trip down the river at stops with tree house swings. Locals erect enormous tree houses which passerbys stop at, climb up, and either fly down a zip line or swing on a tree swing into the river. At one yesterday we had a daytime competition. First a local guy went down the zip line upside down (with his knees around the handlebar). I followed, and then two of them went down, each with one arm on the handle. Then Tony (an American from San Jose) and I went down with upside down with one knee on each side of the handle. That one was for mother America, God Bless. Twice I hit the water so hard that I jostled my contacts almost out of my eyes. There was one swing built onto the branch of a tree 60+ feet into the air with a rope attached, so people on land would pull the rope while you’re standing on the swing, which would allow you to swing into the river. I went backwards twice and tried to do a backflip, but found that I have some kind of mental block which prevents me from fully completing the backflip. Front flips are no problem, but I’ll keep at this until I get it right. Also, before going caving the other day we stopped at a village which had a monkey tied to a tree. It’s really not so much a happy sight, but no one can resist the monkey, so he gets a lot of food and attention. A friend asked me to take a picture of him with the monkey and it was outstanding. He’s slowly approaching the monkey to show that he’s friendly (meanwhile, I’m shooting them off) and the monkey acts completely nice and cute, etc. He gets closer, and out of nowhere, the monkey lunges at the dude and swipes at his necklace. Beads fly all over the place and we’re all on the ground laughing. The monkey is a jewelry thief and plays the part perfectly. I spent the evening tonight hanging out with a pair of frenchmen staying a few bungalows down from mine. I don’t think they do much but sit on the porch smoking bud all day long. And since the place where I’m at sells Rizlas along with water and beer, I asked them where I can locate some bud. They refer me to a 15 year old kid who happens to walk by a few moments after I ask them, and he sells me and a friend the cheapest bud that either of us have ever seen, by far. Three dollars for a filled bag about half the size of a coke can; decent shit by all measure, too. It’s been about four months since I’ve really smoked any bud at all. I suspect that I’ll make up for that time in Laos. I checked into a new spot this afternoon, it’s right in front of the river. There’s a restaurant just outside on a porch nestled over part of the river which offers a fantastic view. The village is about a 10 minute walk up a dirt road. Time to head out of here, smoke a joint, and listen to Pink Floyd until I fall asleep.