Sorry for the Lack of photos in this blog folks...travelling doesnt encourage me to get the camera out
Already two weeks have past and it has been an adventure, from hiking to having a massage on the banks of the river. Many members of the team have found their self confidence in different skills and roles including leadership, also their maturity has grown (Ed. in some!) learning new life-long skills. Parents will find their son/daughter will of have changed for the better (Ed. maybe for 2 weeks anyways ;-)) by being more understanding, appreciative and able to stand on their two feet.
Waking up bright and early, we packed and got ready to travel in a bus for 10hrs from Luang Prabang to Vientiane missing out Vang Vieng which we stopped at on the way here. Going back the way we came through amazing cliffs, mountains and sometimes though clouds, riding along the bumpy road. We met down in the lobby at 0650 with our packs ready and raring to go. Firstly before we did the leaders in accommodation Ellis and Luke had to pay for our overnight stay. The receptionist were trying to rip us off because we wanted to pay in us dollars due to us not having enough kip (by using 8,000 to a dollar conversion instead of 7,900) so Mikaela and Sarah(in charge of budget ) said it was cheaper paying in kip.
Then a tuk-tuk had arrived to take us to the bus station but from our understanding the actual bus was supposed to pick us up from the hotel. The receptionist said “You go he take you all in two trips to the bus station” dodgy receptionist he told Cassidy and Alison the opposite yesterday. (you love them but you hate them) So we decided the people not involved with the money issue went in the tuk-tuk first. Eleven of us loaded our packs and got in Glen, Mat, Narakorn, Kyle, Alice, MJ, MS, Caitlin, Mrs Nottle, Ms Posener and myself the tuk-tuk dropped us off and went back for the others. The bus was bright pink and designed like a double-decker bus but the bottom was for storage and bags. We got on and reserved 22 seats from the front to the middle of the bus by placing our bags and ourselves among the seats. Everyone else arrived and hopped into their seats Alison was unlucky as she ended up sitting next to Cliff (NO ONE likes sitting next to Cliff). (Ed. a man could get a complex being with this lot...well if I wasn’t so thick skinned) Glen and Mat ended up having to move as they were sitting in reserved seats (nothing special just because it has a view). We did not get breakfast this morning so it was everyone’s job to get breakfast and snacks for the long journey ahead, most got Oreos, crisp’s (chips) and some even getting bakery delights.
Current Fashion trends on the trip:
BOYS: Hawaiian short shorts (Ed. Not me yet...I have standards! ;-) )
GIRLS: Genie pants and Laos singlet’s.
A baby would start crying and whaling every 5 minutes louder than the horn that the bus driver toots every 2 minutes constantly while everyone was trying to sleep, listen to music or enjoy the bus ride. Also passenger mobile phones would go off then they would answer them by talking very load into them that happened for the first two hours.
After our first stop everyone started to settle down we had lunch at a small cafe at around 2 o’clock. It was a basic lunch of rice and 3 dishes to go with it then you could buy snacks and drinks if you wanted. We then hit the road again there was games of cards, Alphabetical movies and animals. When everyone had started to go to sleep again Ellis shouted “I think my leg has been cut off” when really he had been laying on his leg and it had gone numb.
Snacks of the trip so far: Oreos and Pringles
Sayings: Tripping My Bearings and Cliff nickname Clifford the Big Red Dog
Funniest moment: Everyone talking like the bus was the one off Harry Potter “This is going to be a bumpy ride””Hey guys why the long faces”
Most Horrible moment: Cliff had bought 3 eggs (Ed. Duck eggs I thought were hard boiled) and when he cracked 2 them open there was baby duck foetus in them (Ed yukky) that is how Lao people eat. Thankfully he did not eat it. (Ed. I was tempted though and there was chilli sauce to go on them lol)
We arrived in Vientiane later than expected due to a lot of stops along the way. Got off the bus Alison and Cassidy had an argument with a tuk-bus driver because he said he wanted $40 US dollars each for 2 tuk-buses it was past 15 minutes when a lot of tourists got on one of our tuk-buses. So we all ended up squishing in a tuk-bus 22 people in one I don’t think so. We put all the packs in the middle and climbed into the seats some ended up sitting on others laps. The boys had their legs jammed together so tightly they were in pain. I ended up sitting on Jarrod he was already in pain, me sitting on him with bags piled on top of me definitely made it worse even I was squished. He was in excruciating pain due to his privates being squished and most of the boys were. It was a 15 minute bus ride to the hotel.
|The Groups favourite Cafe in Vientiane best shakes in town|
Upon arrival at our Guesthouse we put bags in hotel rooms and then dashed back down the stairs... I went with 4 others to get 22 reserved seats at our favourite restaurant, a pizza place. We all had an amazing dinner, including peppered stake, pizza and burgers...not a sign of traditional Lao food or rice. Current leaders Jayden and Jarrod called a meeting to decide upon, free time and a meeting about tomorrow...shattered we all headed for bed.
|The view across from the Mixay Paradise|
Only two weeks left of our adventure, we can’t wait to come home and share our funny stories with our families’ lots of love always from the team.