With Pandemic The Magic Bicycle securely loaded onto a wooden boat to cross the Mekong river to the western banks, I follow in the steps of the thousands of monks who have ventured here on pilgrimage to the sacred historic site of Wat Phu. A national heritage site of tremendous anthropological and spiritual importance that is located on top of a hill overlooking the Mekong River. I begin the trek down a dusty stone foot path then begin to climb up, up and up a huge stone “staircase”.
The site is a three level 2km by 1.8km ancient city build as a tribute to the Hindi god of Shiva dating back to the 6th century. I pass many tourists resting at the first level and others who have turned back from the second level. As I reach the summit, out of breath from the hot arid climb, I find some stones, sit, and have a rest. As I peer down below at the majestic view beneath, I begin to wonder how old the rocks are and how long these rocks have lasted.
After a rest, I meander east through the hill top rocky region to see the sacred stone elephant pictograph and come across Nancy and Ray Feldman. They are climbing on the rocks and laughing about the Hindi god Shiva and the design of Wat Phu. The three level historic site protrudes north from the top of a hill into the sky, Shiva’s lingam shape celebrates the magical energy of life and fertility within us all. I begin to chat with the Feldmans who are from Oklahoma, USA. I make a comment that I can’t believe how old the rocks are and how long they have lasted. Nancy laughs and says that’s what we wonder about us sometimes too.
As we make our way further down the rocks, Nancy shares some travel tips she learned from her mother. Nancy’s pro-tip on how to dress for adventure travel? Never go anywhere without clean underwear, Nancy’s black cashmere sweater is known as her “underwear”. Therefore, the next time you step out of the house off on your next adventure; don’t forget your black cashmere sweater or your clean underwear.