martes, 13 de mayo de 2014

DOS GUERRAS QUE CAMBIARON UN PAÍS - TWO WARS THAT CHANGED A COUNTRY



Laos es una belleza. Las altas, rotas y resquebrajadas montañas que predominan en sus paisajes teletransportan a eras jurásicas, cuando, lo ahora al descubierto, era parte del fondo del mar. 

Laos is beautiful. Its high, cracked and broken mountains predominate the country's landscapes, transporting you to jurassic times, when the whole country found itself under the sea.


Resulta escalofriante pensar que la desnudez de estas montañas salvara la vida a miles de personas, cobijándolas y ocultándolas durante la guerra. Laos tiene una historia triste que, a día de hoy, se sigue pagando. La Guerra Secreta entre EEUU y Laos dejó miles de bombas sin explotar enterradas bajo tierra. Los trabajos de extracción son lentos y caros, por lo que aún quedan zonas por las que no se permite caminar. A pesar de que los caminos estén señalizados, es inevitable sentir cierta paranoia cuando uno se encuentra por zonas antiguamente minadas. Los alrededores de la ciudad de Phonsavan, donde se encuentra la llanura de las misteriosas jarras, son un claro ejemplo de ello.

Y después… de un día para otro, llegó la fiesta. La guerra del pasado se convirtió en una guerra de agua. Se acercaba el año nuevo budista y la gente se volvió loca. Fueron 5 días de entreno y dos días de batalla. Todo el mundo te invitaba a unirte a la fiesta. Música a todo trapo, cerveza por doquier, talco y carmín en la cara, y agua, mucha agua. Echar agua en Songkran significa bendecir, y es que realmente no hay mejor bendición que el agua en días de calor abrasador. La guerra de agua a 4.000 metros de Potosí, en Bolivia, fue otra historia.

Songkran nos pilló visitando la zona de Tha Kaek en moto y, afortunadamente, fue imposible evitar el chapuzón. Tha Kaek, con infinidad de cuevas en sus alrededores, con sus altas, rotas y resquebrajadas montañas. Fueron 4 días duros pero llenos de recompensas. Las "increíbles" y "modernas" carreteras de Laos no ayudaron a evitar unos cuantos pinchazos, pero no importaba, era Songkran.


It's also spine chilling to think that the mountains you pass by in Laos were also once used as bomb shelters during the "secret war" with the US. It's even scarier to think how so many of these cluster bombs haven't entirely explode, leaving (on purpose) many small unexploded artifacts scattered throughout the country. Today there are still areas where walking is sadly risky. The extraction process of explosives is slow and expensive and considering Laos is one of the most bombed countries in the planet, cleaning its surface full of UXOs will take a long time.

Phonsavan is where we saw this cleaning method up close. Luckily, in the area, there are many clean tracks to walk on, but as tourist you are always reminded to stay on these marked tracks. A bit of paranoia when walking in Laos is always a little normal. Thank you secret war.

But luckily Laos has two wars to talk about, and the second one is not that bad at all.

Songkran, Lao new year. Whatever you call it is completely unique. What was once a ritual of cleaning buddha statues with water for the new year, is now a full out water war. Getting water thrown at you is not a call of war (or a water fight in this situation), but under buddhist eyes, this is a blessing. The best thing about this celebrations is that it's in the middle of the hottest seasons. So a little water is always soothing. Just imagine, water everywhere, water guns of all sizes and colors, music, dancing, a lot of beer, talcum powder and lipstick on the face… Potosi in Bolivia had been an experience, but this was just something else.

New Year started during our 4 day motorcycle route from Thakhaek. When the temperatures were too hot. Luckily we could just get blessed by the eager children who were waiting for hours to throw water at the first person passing by.

There were also an infinite amount of caves, pools and waterfalls to cool off too. We surely made the most out of these days. It was one of our favorite Lao experiences. We did get three flat tires, but, none of this mattered anymore. In the end, Songkran is always a time of happiness.























1 comentario:

  1. que serie tan epectaacular de fotos.Para cuando un libro????

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