To Laus or not to Laus?

Trip Start Mar 07, 2009
Trip End Apr 08, 2010

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Flag of Vietnam  ,
Tuesday, June 16, 2009

14th June - 16th June 2009:

Woke up after the trek feeling more than a little sore, both of us could hardly get out of bed and I am not exaggerating. I have actually decided this is a turning point because I have done loads of trekking now, well quite a bit, and am still rubbish at it and feel no better for it either. Time to ease up on the beer and unhealthy foods I think, time for a new and improved me. Lets see how long that lasts?
Anyway we crawled out of bed only because we had to eat and get money out, clean our damn boots and stuff and get ready for anther fun bus ride.
We chose a different bus operator this time to continue our Laos bus experiment. Again it was a night "sleeper bus". we knew sleep would be impossible as there are no actual beds, just reclining seats but the comfort factor can alter dramatically.
Again we had a moto ride to the bus office, this time my big pack stayed firmly in the drivers lap! Waited half hour before being allowed on the bus. Obviously the trekking couple were there on the bus as we had seen them about 20 times by now, they were really nice though so that's alright. I was not surprised to see Ang & I were seated separately but the lady was kind enough to let us sit together, after I refused to move. We were however stuck over a wheel arch, reducing the foot room by about 50% so I had to force my blanket down there to stop my ankles being crushed against a metal post. The lady across the aisle to my left was obviously travel sickness prone as she was blowing chunks within literally 10 minutes of the bus moving. She went on to puke about a dozen times, encouraging the woman in front to do likewise later on. They showed some Victoria secret modeling show on telly but as I was at the back couldn't see it, but of course I could hear the Vietnam pop crap as the speaker was right by my ear! I had a 3 year old girl kicking the back of my seat from about 1900 to midnight and her mother seemingly could not understand when I told her to stop her kid from kicking my #$&^ing chair and pulling Ang's hair. The bus had relier stopped for dinner but nobody, except the locals, knew how long for so we almost made ourselves sick through shoveling a plate of noodles down our throats so fast. The bus then stopped at midnight for what I assumed was a pee break so got straight back on the bus and after a couple of minutes realised people were sitting down in the cafe for drinks so we thought we'd get off the bus as the air con had been switched off so it was like a sauna in there. Naturally the driver had locked us in so we were forced to sit there, with some other westerners, watching everyone else enjoy an ice cold drink while were sat there sweating for England. Finally, after the "drink stop", the driver tried stealing my blanket from around my ankles for the extra people he'd let on the bus to sleep in the aisles, and when I refused stared at me menacingly for about a minute while some guy in front asked if I could speak Chinese? I thought I might be in a bit of a predicament as I remembered some bloke tell me how he sat on his own bus in disbelief as the driver had a fist fight with a truck driver who failed to let him pass in the road, about 100km further back! I took my hat off to reveal my skinhead and he backed off :)

So when we got back to Hanoi, having decided to book a flight to Laus, we realised that we were gonna be short on malaria pills. Having scooted around the city's pharmacies and clinics looking for them , we finally found some but they were about $250 so we have decided to fly to Bangkok instead, then to spend some time on the beaches of Koh Pha-ngan for some well earned R&R time, especially considering, 3 days later, I am still really sore from the trekking!
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