15 November 2010

Overnight trains and trekking pains

Overnight trains and trekking pains

After a much-needed half day off, we boarded our second Laos airlines flight to Hanoi. It was a bit of a mad dash once we arrived, as our flight was delayed ad we had to eat dinner downtown before heading to the train station.

I attempted to speed up the process by having everyone pay into a central pot so we could avoid individual bills. Naturally, they printed out individual bills, which meant this attempt actually further delayed our departure. Oh, and the power went out mid meal, which definitely added ambiance.

We reached the train station just in the knick of time, carrying our bags a good kilometer across train tracks, intersections, and little bridges. True to form, the train was brilliant. Air conditioning, duvets, and fluffy pillows meant I was asleep before we rolled away. The group - most of whom had never been on an overnight train before - were wildly surprised at the little luxuries (minus the underwater bathroom which smelled lovely). Regardless, not a single complaint.

We arrived in Sapa And transferred to the hotel. Since our rooms weren't ready, the whole group turned the lobby bathroom into our private changing facilities. Hans even brushed his teeth with orange juice!

It was straight out the door on a 3-hour trek through the terraced rice fields with lunch by a very flowing waterfall. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to really mess up my ankle. I skipped the morning hike and instead trawled the streets on the back of a motorbike in search of a doctor.

I found one, and a solid hour later of being poked, prodded, and flipped around, my ankle was feeling a bit better and I had made a lovely new friend who knew every octave I could wail while writhing in pain!

Off to karaoke now. It's an early night though. We have a very long ad very hard trek ahead of us tomorrow!

-- Posted from my KyPhone

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