The failed attempt to reach Hannoi:
So i set off to Luang Prabang for 5pm to catch the 6pm bus to Hannoi, Vietnam from the bus station, the ticket cost me a wopping $44 and i was told it would be a sleeper bus, with air con and an onboard toilet so i didnt mind paying a little extra as the trip was to last 24 hours.
But low and behold one hour late a rickety old school bus turned up. uncomfy seats so toilet no air con. and teeny tiny windows. A lot of people bailed at the first sight of it, we were told there were to be no refunds as we had all signed for our tickets which meant that if changes had to be made they would make them at no extra cost to us...oh thanks for that Laung Prabang Bus Station!
I decided i would man up and take the bus reguardless - possibly the best or worst choice i ever made in my life.
I still haven't decided yet.
What the bus station had failed to tell us is that our originall bus had not turned up due to flood damage....
We left Luang Prabang, i was one of only eight people who decided to stick out the journey. I was very tired so fell asleep quite quickly with my ipod in. I woke up at around 3am to the sound of the bus screeching to a hault. a HUGE tree had just fallen infront of us, the rain was chucking down so we assumed that was what had pushed it. The men and the drivers all got out and manually hacked away the tree - this took ages!
We then continued.
At about 7am we met a land slide. again the heavey rain had hit with such a force it was moving the whole earth around. the drivers managed to clear a small run way for us to pass through.
... this was the point in which i stopped clock watching as it was enough to drive me insane.
In total we stopped twice for fallen trees, six times for land slides and four times for floods and either cleared ourselves, or if the disaster was too big waited for people with bigger machienery and diggers to sort us out.
The aim was Nam Can border to pass into Vietnam, about an hour before we reached the Border Control we were hit with a massive flood, one that only time would clear. as we were so close and had already missed the embacy closing time the drivers decided to sleep it out and see if any help came in the morning. It did not so at 38 hours we turned around and aimed for Phonsavn city as we were told these were the safest roads.
This trip took a furhter 4.5 hours which brings the total so far to 42.5 hours. We had a 4 hour gap where we played cards and games and just generally fooled around - by this time the 8 of us had become best of friends.
I was known as 'that english girl' then we had the guy from belgium and his vietnamise girlfriend, the polish couple on their honeymoon that had just got married two weeks before, the two israli girls and then the North Korean, born in Kazacstan, moved to Russia girl. So as you can imagine we were quite a sight for sore eyes.
After a 12.5 hour bus from Phonsavan to Vientiane (which i have already visited on my trip) we had time to book a guest house for a nap and a shower (and an email) before i have to hope on yet another bus, lasting around 20 hours-if all goes to plan.
This would bring my grand bus total over four days to 75 hours and i have had to miss out the entire North of Vietnam altogether due to the roads, weather and the fact i have lost four whole days. which doesn't sound a lot but really is when you are only whizzing around in 6 weeks!
Reguardless of all the drama i have actually really enjoyed myself, our bus drivers were brillaint keeping us smiling and laughing and i have met the most fantastic 7 people i think i will ever meet on the whole of my trip! we all swapped contact details and i have promised myselfi will write a short story on our adventures and email to them all.
And for all of you that are now worrying... STOP IT! i am fine! in fact i have realised how good i am under pressure and how good i am at cheering people up and keeping everything light hearted. even when things did get a little rough.
And to round it off, i will bet all of you right now no body has ever EVER wanted a shower more than i did after this bus journey!!! haha
Oh and a tip for all you South East Asian bus travellers - always ALWAYS carry chocolate biscuits- they may have saved my life this time!!!
Hope you are all well, and don't you ever complain about two hour car journeys to me again! x