Friday, 12 August 2011
Mudslides and other Laotian Joys
Just to calm your worried souls: we are in Thailand, in Bangkok to be more specific. Thailand is an amazing country, mainly because it has tarmacked roads and a working train system - among other things, I guess. I think that I have distanced myself enough from Laos to be able to tell you the tale of the mudslide, the bus in the ditch and attempted hitch-hiking through Laotian mountains. Although, I daresay, I might need a stiff drink after recalling that fateful day.
So, we got a bus from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng - it was meant to be a casual 6 hour journey that turned into a 10 hour ordeal. In a nutshell, there was a mudslide, the driver got us out of the bus, the bus tipped into a ditch at a 45 degree angle and the driver sat inside and fell asleep, whilst we got stuck outside in a heavy rain storm. Lovely. So we trekked downhill to a local village, where we managed to blag some melon and were generally ogled at by the village children.
Three hours into waiting for something, just something to happen to our bus (apart from sinking deeper into the ditch), G and I decided to attempt hitch-hiking. Brilliant idea, just that we were crap at it. To be fair at this point we looked rather like a pair of drowned rats and any amount of exposing a bit of leg just made us look like some mental-asylum escapees. Although, I'm not sure if Laos has mental asylums, or even much of a police force, seeing as a mudslide on a state road did not seem to warrant any official presence. Anyway, nobody wanted to help us - not even the buses stopped. Until, some enterprising bus drivers decided to make a bit of money in the side by demanding 80 000 kip to 'help' us out. Oh, you've got to love an opportunist.
Obviously we accepted the offer and were thrilled at being wiped down with wet wipes and dried by a pair of charming Italian men. Sadly it was not as raunchy as I made it sound, they really just didn't want to sit next to some mud-covered, soaking, sweaty lunatics. Fair enough.