As predicted the lot of us were all hungover and all of us had to move on that day, not a good day for it. We all slumped about the hostel bar/restaurant for what breakfast we could get down us and proceeded to slump around the pool until our buses around. I was travelling to Dalat with Hannah and a couple of Dutch girls and when our mini bus arrived we assumed it must be dropping us off at a bus depot to pick up a proper bus, as this mini bus was hot, no air con and packed to the rafters to the point that we were unlucky enough to be sat in pull down aisle seats that moved continuously and were far from comfortable…and yep this was going all the way to Dalat. How we weren’t sick I will never know, I had my head rested on the chair in front of me, luckily the guy in front me was also doing the same so I didn’t have to move or headbutt him. Thank god, at the toilet stop the guy who had been sat in front of me and I realised the seats up front with the driver were free so we hot footed it to them an claimed them, not they were much more comfortable but it felt better, apart from being able to see how bad a driver the dude was.
Finally we made Dalat in a slightly better state and Hannah and I flagged down a taxi to our hostel – Wolfpack, which is more like a homestay that’s run by a lovely young couple. In dire need of food we went to explore the town of Dalat and found a big night market in the market square that catered for everything from food to clothing. But as I was hungover, we treated ourselves to a Vietnamese restaurant serving fab homemade food, even if I did overindulge a tad. Back at the hostel we met a few people and arranged to hire scooters for the day to go explore, particularly as the main attraction of Dalat is to go canyoning but due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’ they had stopped all agencies running the activity. Not that I was bothered. The next day, our lovely hosts made us all breakfast and even arranged the scooter hire of us and the 6 of us set off. Two Hannah’s on one bike, two Chloe’s on another and then Eleanor and Kevin on the third bike. Off we set in a convoy and first mission to find fuel, which was surprisingly hard. All fuelled up we convoyed off in to the countryside and it was stunning once out of the city, but we were trying to find a waterfall but seemed to have no idea where we were going. But with a few great picture stops, we decided to give up on finding the waterfall and go in search of food, by this point we had also picked up another guy, Tom, who joined our convoy. We pulled into a little side street and then from behind I hear a huge crash sound. Scared to turn around I see two bikes on the floor and the 2 Chloe’s and some local guy on the floor. We legged it over to see one of the Chloe’s leg in a state and blood everywhere. Locals from a nearby restaurant came running over with bandages and helped tidy her up, luckily the crash was next to a taxi so we got her in and I went to hospital with her whilst the others dealt with the scooters. Maybe as a default mechanism I kept trying to make her laugh and fed her with sweets to stop her fainting or worrying too much. At the hospital, it was hard with the language barrier but they were great and helped her before we got back into the taxi to go to the main hospital. Fortunately, as we pulled out the others appeared so we were able to let them know what hospital we were going to. Poor Chloe. And certainly not an experience we had anticipated that morning, but to cut a long story short at the hospital they confirmed she would have to have surgery and stay in hospital for a few days. We all hung about, once the others arrived, while she was in surgery to make sure it all went ok. But she was in great spirits under the circumstances. Finally realising there was not much more we could do for her; we got taxis back to the hostel in time for the amazing food spread they put on every night. Proper homecooked, fresh Vietnamese food. Just want we all needed after the day’s events! At the hostel, I saw Ole and his convoy that we was riding up with had arrived so we all caught up and headed to the night market and came back with a couple of bottles of local red wine….vile to say the least even after adding coke to try water it down. We had a great laugh chilling outside the hostel with vile wine but great banter.
The final day arrived and after the events of yesterday, this day was a bit quieter starting off with a visit to the hospital to see how Chloe was doing, to find her hospital room full of police and other randoms just wanting a look in. Turned out the rider that hit them was under the influence and were on their way to hospital to apologise in person and offer to pay all her hospital fees and after care, not sure you find that quality in someone if it happened in Britain.
After the visit to the hospital, I met up with a few people back at the hostel for us to go to visit the Crazy House. An architect’s dream to create something unusual and unique, which it certainly is, and also wouldn’t look out of place amongst Guadi’s work in Barcelona. But of course, the midday heat hits so we head off in search of food which we find in the strangely quiet streets of Dalat’s town centre. Then washed down with goldfish bowl sized refreshing mocktails. To make it a foody day, back at the hostel we are treated to another large spread of fresh, homemade Vietnamese food by the hostel staff. Such a great touch and gives it that homely feel before we started on the beers and ended up next door in the karaoke bar.