Making Friends On The Way To Hue
Trip Start Dec 28, 2010
28Trip End Mar 31, 2011
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We had around a 3 hour wait in the train station along with the snoring homeless of Hue and the rat which was running around on the floor beneath our seats. I have never been so glad to get on a train in my life and that was despite the 12 hour journey ahead. We were able to get on at about 10 and waited anxiously to see who we would be sharing with. The beds were stacked three high on each wall with a small table in between the bottom two beds. We had the bottom two and one above. Slowly our room filled up; Firstly with a young student who spoke great English and then with two older gentlemen who couldn't understand a word of what we said. I had the middle bunk but it was hilarious watching Paul and Michelle having to sit awkwardly next to the Vietnamese gentlemen who took up residence and the end of their beds.
About 40 minutes into our journey the train stopped and we found out that the train in front had hit a car and that they were working to clear the line. We decided to pass the time by playing cards and tucking in to the vodka and nibbles. As we played the Vietnamese got closer and closer and started peering at our cards over our shoulders. We invited them to play and had a tough time explaining the rules but they picked it up quickly and won a few times much to Pauls annoyance. Pretty soon we were all laughing and getting more and more tipsy and our cabin was getting more and more popular with other passengers coming to see what was going on. A young mum brought her 18 month old baby into the room and played him some music to which he just danced and danced. It was very funny and very cute. Eventually we were told off by one of the train conductors for being too loud so we decided to camp down for the evening.
The beds were actually reasonably comfy and the room was warm however the great snoring Vietnamese man kept me awake for most of the night...despite me vigorously shaking his bed repeatedly. I woke up around 7:30 feeling pretty rough - from the drink and from the lack of sleep. Eventually we managed to speak to a conductor who told us we would arrive in Hue at 6pm. That can't be right? We were due in at 11am! It turns out we waited 5 hours for them to clear the track meaning that we would be on the train for 16 hours! Not great news when you feel as rough as I did! Throughout the rest of the day our cabin emptied at various stops until it was just us left counting down our last three hours. We arrived in the pouring rain having lost half a day in Hue but to our relief and suprise the hostel had sent a car to pick us up. Bonus for the budget and bonus for the terribly tired Christine. It was an experience to say the least but we have now booked a flight from Da Nang to Saigon....The alternative was a 18 hour train journey - no competition.