So, today was the day that I wasn't looking forward too - Manisha leaving. We had a great time together on the trip - only actually arguing once throughout the whole time (mircle for us). As per usual spent the morning using the hotel facilities - Manisha tried swimming in the baby size pool. Didn't do much swimming as the pool was a little crowded with the two other people in it!
Manisha left in her taxi after checking out, it was very sad and I did have a little cry as it would be a while before I got to see her again!
I went off to meet Kevin at 12, just went on a motor bike around the city. Was great fun just seeing the city from a different perspective. We ended up finding this great little restaurant - Seasons of Hanoi. It was in an old white and green French building, very posh but not too badly priced. As the restaurant was packed we sat outside in the little garden bit, service was great and so was the food.
Went back onto the bike in search of petrol - asked a few people who of course all gave us wildly different directions. Eventually we managed to find the place, and filled up just as the storm clouds were rolling in over head. Within two minutes of us being on the bike, the rain came tumbling down and we headed back into the old quatre to try and find somewhere to hide. We hid under the bridge for a while, then the rain died down for a while. Eventually we decided that it would be a good idea to find a bar to shelter in. Kevin gave me the map (big mistake) and asked me to direct him (again huge mistake, not great at map reading). Eventually we realised that we were a little lost and getting very very wet, so stopped at a street stall where they were making tea- dried out a little on the coal fire things. Then headed back out - eventually finding a bar which we could sit in for an hour or so. After a while of chilling in the bar, we saw that the rain had stopped, so we attempted to venture out. As soon as we got down the stairs, it started to rain again!!!!! Sat chatting to some of the staff for a while, then decided, we needed to get going. One of the ladies at the bar was kind enough to give me a plastic mac thing to wear - which I soon was glad of. Went back out on the bike again in the pouring rain, got a little lost cause of my directions (sorry again Kevin). I had never been so wet in all my life, felt like I had just jumped into a swimming pool with all my clothes on, was horrible!
As soon as I walked into the hotel one of the staff asked if they could help me? I kindly replied that I was there to collect my bags as I'm checking out! The guy must have thought I was some trampy traveller who hadn't a clue where she was (bear in mind that this is one of the nicest hotels in Hanoi and I looked like a drowned rat in a plastic mac.) After getting a few more dirty looks from staff and guests alike I attempted to make myself a little more presentable by taking off the plastic mac. I collected my bags - which were nicely dragged from storage by one of the bell boys, and asked if there was anywhere I could change and dry off. I was directed to the toilets - where I changed and made as much mess as I possibly could as the staff were being quite rude and slightly up themselves!
After changing, I got a cab to meet Kevin, was not walking with my huge bags in the rain again! Met up with him and one of his firends and had a very nice dinner at Highway 4. We tried some of the local rice wine which warmed me up nicely after spending a large part of the day drenched!
We then headed off to the handspan office to go to Sapa. When we were at the office, the staff noticed that Kevin's visa would run out on the 4th - he was due to fly out on the morning of the 5th, when we got back from Sapa. At first they thought that he could get up to a $900 fine but eventually, after a few panicked phone calls we found out that he would more than likely need to pay the visa extension fee of $65. We then headed off to the train station for Sapa and got there in time to find our carriage. The train was a lot nicer than the ones that I had been on before (thank god) and we settled in for the night knowing it would be a very early start the next day.