After being dropped off by the bus from Pakse we were ushered to a little wooden boat with lawn-mower engine to take us across to Don Det. They piled us and all our backpacks onto a boat made for 3 and on the first little tip sideways, almost toppling the boat they realised that we were a tad overloaded. The asked for 6 volunteers to take the next boat and myself, charlie, con and the slovenians were quick to throw up our hands! We did however have to leave our luggage on the boat and watched it swaying into the distance hoping for a safe arrival on the island.
Our boat was available within 5 minutes and as there were only 6 of us we quickly caught up to our luggage on the way. We docked on the Don Det beach (pics to follow) and did the standard procedure of dumping luggage with one person at a cafe while the others go on the hunt for accomodation. "Luckily" the first place i considered was the closest and had a room available. I said "luckily" as at that point I hadn't realised that the building of bungalows next door would start at 6.30am and go on well into the evening....leaving no time to really chill out on my balcony in my hammock or have much of a lie-in in the morning. The room itself was very nice though so the building work was a bit unfortunate.
I had a bit of a stroll around the island and in the afternoon and then dinner in one of the shacks on the islands main drag.....a dusty road big enough for about 3 bicycles. Don Det is definitely a place to get back to basics and as such is a perfect place to shut off from the rest of the world. Electricity has not yet found it's way to the island but generators are used to provide the lights and energy where needed. It's quite funny at night when all the "bars" light up like Xmas trees - full advantage of the available power is taken!! I was caught a bit off-guard though and when I arrived back at my room at 9.30pm, my guesthouse had already shut it's generators down. With no light to speak of I had to knock on the owners door (they were watching telly!!!) and ask for some candles. It was definitely a "welcome to Don Det" :-)
The next morning I was up bright and early (6.30am - which became my daily wake-up) for a day of lazing around doing nothing. While having breakfast I met another French Canadian girl (Sharon-who speaks perfect English) and as we had both planned to take bikes out to ride to the next island (Don Khon) we decided on a joint venture. As it so happens it turned out to be a very funny adventure.....
The 2 island which are on the travellers trails and as such catered accordingly, are Don Det and Don Khon. Don Det is seen as the more social, lively island and Don Khon the more subdued place - accordingly Don Det is cheap and full of backpacker and Don Khon is more expensive and has more "elderly" or honeymoon type visitors. And before I hear any sniggers....I was on Don Det!!! Anyway, our planned bike trip was to take us along the coastline of Don Det (about 2.5km) and over the bridge to Don Khon to visit the waterfalls and see the island.