4/4 – Si Phan Don – en laotien : les 4ooo îles -

A ne rater sous aucun prétexte. Ce superbe archipel s’étire sur 50km au milieu du Mékong et les 4OOO îles qui le composent semblent vivre hors du temps. Pendant la saison des pluies le Mékong atteint 14km, sa plus grande largeur sur son cours de 4350km depuis le plateau tibétain. Les habitants  vivent tranquillement et produisent ce dont il ont besoin,  riz, canne à sucre, noix de coco, légumes, produits de la pêche et tissage. Le temps s’écoule tellement paisiblement que l’on imagine sans peine les iles dériver jusqu’au Cambodge sans que personne ne bouge de son hamac….

  • Don Khong

Le voyage depuis Pakse en bus local un peu “sardines à l’huile” car nous sommes 23 dans un minibus avec bagages et marchandises. La chaleur est  toujours présente, malgré la proximité du Mékong. Après la traversée en bateau nous trouvons une chambre avec clim. et vue sur le fleuve. Il faut dire que Si Phan Don n’est électrifié que depuis peu. Le propriétaire parle un peu le français qu’il a appris à l’école.

P1010263 Le restaurant de l’hôtel possède une terrasse ombragée surplombant le Mékong. La rue qui passe devant est en terre. C’est dire que nous sommes au calme. On va se plaire ici! mais quelle chaleur! Le lendemain nous faisons le tour de l’ile avec une moto louée pour l’occasion. Nous ne pouvons circuler que le matin car à partir de midi l’air est trop chaud (entre 40° et 45°) C’est la saison sèche, les rizières sont complètement brulées par le soleil. Les habitants ont déserté les champs et se rassemblent sous leurs habitations sur pilotis, espérant trouver là un peu de fraicheur……Nous faisons halte au nord de l’ile car on nous a indiqué la présence d’une plage. Effectivement, une petite trempette dans le Mékong est la bienvenue.

  Pendant qu’Annick part faire des photos, je reste à observer un pêcheur et son filet. Ses gestes calculés, lents mais sûrs pour refermer la senne. Il  ramassera une vingtaine de petits poissons,  qu’il vendra une misère sur le marché ou qui le nourriront. Et pourtant ma présence à ses côtés ne le dérange pas , mieux il me gratifie d’un sourire joyeux. Je pars le laissant là; moi, je ne fais que passer…..mais je garde le souvenir de ce regard et de cet instant de silence bruyant, certainement sans grand intérêt, sauf qu’il se tient ici au Laos et nous sommes deux……..si différents et si proches.

DSC05921  DSC05924

Au crépuscule, nous apercevons, depuis la terrasse du resto de l’hôtel, des enfants jouant sur le dos des buffles qui se rafraichissent dans le fleuve. J’ai envie de les rejoindre. Non Bernard, c’est plus de ton âge!!

  • Don Det – Don Kone

6/4 – Descente en bateau, pendant presque 2 heures, au travers des nombreuses iles, pour rejoindre l’île de Don-Det. Notre hôtel  est tenu par un belge flamand. C’est le seul hébergement avec climatisation. Il faut dire que l’ile est électrifiée depuis septembre dernier. Au bord du Mékong, un endroit paradisiaque ( la chaleur de l’enfer en plus!) mais avec une piscine naturelle dans le fleuve pour pouvoir se baigner.

P1010278  P1010285

On ne s’en prive pas car le thermomètre ne fait pas de cadeau! Le soir attablés sur la terrasse, devant un pastis (oui, oui!!) nous assistons au coucher du soleil sur le Mékong. Saisissant! Ensuite, carbonnade à la flamande préparée par Mathieu le patron, à s’en lécher les doigts. Le lendemain, de bonne heure, nous faisons le tour de l’ile à vélo. Les habitants commencent à ouvrir leurs échoppes, il fait moins chaud. Notre chemin borde le Mékong, qui laisse voir des iles avec  végétation et des bancs de sables.

DSC05915  A certains moments, nous avons l’impression de nous promener sur le chemin de halage au bord de la Loire. Il y a une similitude entre ces 2 fleuves sauvages…… la dimension en moins!

 

 

 

P1010301 P1010290

Sur l’ile de Don Kone voisine, nous passons à côté d’une vieille loco laissée là par les français et allons jusqu’aux chutes du Mékong. En raison de la saison,  le niveau de l’eau très bas laisse apparaitre rochers et cascades, et nous laisse rêver au spectacle grandiose à la saison des pluies. Nous avons passé un séjour formidable dans ces iles et plus largement au Laos que nous quittons demain, pour le Cambodge. Nous sommes un peu impatients de connaitre ce pays, son histoire récente, ses temples et son peuple, bien entendu.

Bernard

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