Sapa

More things...

OK back!

so where was i up to?

Hoi An...well that town is just beautiful, so picturesque! We had spend so much time getting clothes made though, some were amazing some not so amazing but so damn cheap! we found the greatest pho street stall, so damn cheap and tasty!

we also visited an orphanage which was lovely.

There is something about the food in general in hoi an, it is just so tasty, i don't know what they put in it but the tomato, garlic peanuts combine to make a taste sensation!

the beach there is nice too, though much colder than cambo or thailand.

next stop was hanoi, my last days with my kazza, we had a bit of a freakout when we realised we had left out passports 19 hours away in hoi an but that was all resolved when they sent them up on a bus for us. They arrrived 2 hours before kaz was to leave for Bangkok..PHEW!

Kazzy Come back!

Well after Kaz left i went to Sapa that evening on the night train, i was lucky to spend the rest of the day with some lovely british girls we shared a balcony with at out guesthouse. I managed to get a hard sleeper on the train which is soooo much better than a bus seat, i don't mind sleaping on the hard wood, i think it is good for my back! i have troulble waking up everywhere i go though whether it is bus or train, this morning i got woken up by a hit to the head at 5:45 when the train had arrived in hanoi, i guess i am lucky i can sleep at all, though one day i am sure i will sleep through my stop and end up in china or something!

Well Sapa was just amazing! Bec and paul; the girls were asking all about you and wanting to know when you are coming back...send them an email, they miss you.

now i am really tired and i will write more about sapa soon, i have some great photos! I have to catch a bus at 6pm to laos the bus will take 24hrs or something...eeekkk though i found i nice lad to acompany me on the trip!

videos soon too

Claire

HelloMoto

Claire made friends with some aussie guys last night. They're from WA I think. Claire had organised to go with WA#1 on his moto to the Silver Falls today. But he "fell ill" with a mysterious illness called Veronica. So his two mates (or maybe brothers) took us up there. Paul and i squished on with WA #2 (shannon) and claire went with #3. The roads were apparently the worst they'd encountered out this way. Pretty muddy and very pot holed. But no one died so it was fun fun. The waterfalls were huge!

We've gone the way of the lazy and booked the bus to Lao Cai from our hotel (15000 extra) just so we don't have to carry our bags all the way to the church. (it's not that far)

Today I feel not so bad, still hot but no need to puke my guts up in the street. I have had half a banana and half a baguette with jam. That is all since Tuesday. All I kept in anyway. I think i'll risk some Pho tonight. Broth will be good for me.

And mum, don't say i didn't warn you that you'd be the only line dancers under the age of 65.

So if we can manage it, we'll go straight to Halong Bay. But more likely we'll stay one night in Hanoi again while we sort ourselves out.

Bec,
Sapa.

beware the spring roll!

Well we are still in Sa Pa having a great time.
last night we got a little food poisoning from some vegetarian spring rolls, bec and i were vomiting all night, yukky!
i am here now with two of the local girls, They live in lao chai, near-by Sa Pa, they are very good sales girls. They are very cheeky and are alot of fun! even though they are very traditional they all have email and to my surprise are amazing at pool.
Tomorrow night we will be leaving Sa Pa i wish i could stay here forever, it is such a warm hearted place and absolutley stunning.
i don't have much time to write now but i'll make up for it tomorrow or tonight.

-claire
Sa Pa

Sick as a Bec

At least it happened in Sapa. Where I don't have to worry about the heat. I think Claire and I ate some bad spring rolls (not to mention the pork one that they told me was vegetarian). I have never puked so badly in my life. Did you want to know that? Too bad. Claire was sick all night too and is sleeping now. But wait there's more! I have had a sore throat for about a week, which just yesterday developed further and here I am with flu-like symptoms. Then this morning I wake up with a fever but i'm bloody cold. Everyone is staring at me wondering what the hell i'm doing in my coat. So of course it's a unanimous decision that I have contracted Malaria and will die very shortly. We mosy downstairs and ask about a doctor in Sapa. The nice girl says the doctor can't come to us for reasons too complicated to try and translate. So she hails us two motorbike taxis and says hospital. We say great! At an emergency crawl of 30km an hour we head for the hospital and arrive just in time to see three 12 year old H'moung boys escorting a dead body out of the building. Inspired, we soldier on into this really great courtyard complex hospital thing. It was painted pink. The only sign that was in english was 'Emergency' so we went there but only found a squished giant butterfly and no people. After finding an English speaking doctor and jumping the queue ( bloody tourists!) we descern that my temperature is 38.5c. I'm googleing right now what temp I should be. The doctor wasn't interested in our Malaria theory, but explaines that the evil spirits in my throat headed for my stomach after I couldn't cough them out. Which resulted in vomiting and fever. Am I elaborating too much? It just didn't ring quite true. Considering I puked up whole spring rolls and so did Claire. I still think it's a combination of cold and food poisoning and/or Malaria. No not really but I have to entertain myself somehow.

Anyhoo, if want the more graphic verison of the story, ask my parents for a transcript of my email to them. My temperature is meant to be 37c, by the way.

So back to happy things, I thought the French might have had something to do with the brilliant coffee!

I'll keep you posted on my temperature and things.
Bec,
Sapa.

Sapa-rty time!!

Well we arrived in Sa Pa this morning via the surprisingly comportable train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. We purchased the hard sleeper this time and were lucky to stumble apon our irish buddies at the station so we all shared a cabin. Even though the beds were hard, it is amazing the difference between being sitting in a cramped bus and being able to lie down. We all had a sound nights sleep.
Sa Pa has blown me away it is absolutley amazing, we are surrounded by mountains that are dotted with rice paddies and villages. The mountains are so high that you can't see the top through the clouds. We were greeted by some children from a hill tribe 7 km away who walk to Sa Pa every day to sell their handy crafts. They are all dressed up in their traditional costume and speak english very well. They are cheeky and playful and have a great sense of humor.
The first thing we did when we got here was wound our way on foot through the hills to the waterfall. It was a fair hike on the dirt road and up concrete steps, but well worth it.(i'll post some pics) we had a great swim in the fresh mountain water.
I plan to purchase some traditional sapa costume and jewellery, The make it all by hand. I just hope there is enough room in my back pack!

Chillin in Sapa

We made it to Sapa in one piece. Our sleeping quarters on the train were brilliant fun. It was two narrow beds and an aisle wide, and three bunks high. You could sit up straight on the lowest level, lean back to save your head on the middle one, and on the top you could barely rest on your elbows. Our train buddies were the two Irish guys we met in Hoi An and a nice Vietnamese girl who taught us all a card game. We stretched a sleeping mat between the two middle bunks and managed to play alright. Once you had your bags away it was prettty comfy. I got to use my sleeping bag so yay! We were, however, invaded by a drunk Vietnamese guy who didn't speak enough english for him to clearly communicate that he wanted one of us to give up our beds. I was topping and tailing with paul on the bottom bunk. After about twenty minutes on the top one I actually felt like i was going to puke. The rocking is amplified the further you are from the ground. So this strange guy (technically he had already made friends with the Irish lads on the Bar carriage) thought he could sleep up the top. But Paul monkeyed his way up there quick smart to demonstrate that the bed was taken. Which was good thinking but he left me wide open to attack from the crazy drunk guy who sat down and shook my hand hello then grabbed my head and tried to kiss me. I think he really just wanted to say hello but i still say that the punch in the chest was justified. Now that i'm into it, i'll tell you the whole story. He eventually got the message and left (we locked the door) but came back (useless lock) with a cardboard box and a sheet and bed down on the floor. But thankfully this only lasted ten minutes before magic train lady came along and asked what the hell he was doing. We thought this would at least be a fast paced yelling match because speaking calmly in Vietnamese usually requires some sort of raised voice, but she spoke really quietly for about ten minutes and he got up and left. Talk about awkward.

Anyway, Sapa is much cooler. We are all thrilled. There are mountains all around us and they're mostly tiered with rice fields. We trekked about 2km to the local waterfalls (in our thongs which i won't do again) and found a place to swim. But apparently this river is not really for swimming (we were kind of between waterfalls) and everyone sat on the edge of the wall thingy to laugh at us. It was freezing but the absolute best fun.

There are some hill tribe people that live near by and we've met about a hundred girls from the H'moung tribe and one lady from the D'zao tribe. I'll fix the spellign later. These girls flock around you and chatter away and they're all selling embroidery and blankets and jewelery. They just hang outside the hotel and they all bring their embroidery to work on. They're great fun but if we bought one thing from every girl we'd have to fly home tomorrow. I've been adopted by one girl called Che. She's twenty and has a gold front tooth and has made me promise to buy something from her. I said something small and she said good. She doesn't seem to have anything on her to sell, but i'm sure when i see her tomorrow she'll unfold a whole store from the front of her pinafore. They wear these warm pinafore things and the older women wear all this fabric wrapped around their heads. The girls wear long stips of heavy fabric wrapped arounf their lower legs and I imagine this would serve the purpose of knee-high socks. But there feet are bare and they wear sandals and thongs anyway.

Our room is at Cat Cat hotel - there's three of them but we think they're all run by the same family. $12 gets us two big (big enough) beds, a fireplace, a spacious bathroom with tub and a tea pot and some tea leaves. And a television but we've hidden the remote from claire. She does this thing where she turns the tv on and falls asleep or leaves or has a shower. Any number of activities that don't include watching the tv. So four hours later when paul and I still aren't ready, I say why the hell are you watching tv anyway?! And he says, hey man, you put it on! And I say bloddy claire has left us with the tv on again and we haven't acheived a goddamned thing.

There's a little slice of our day-to-day life abroad. Did i mention how great Sapa is?? It reminds me a whole lot of Nepal so i'm getting all nostalgic. But no one has told me to shut the hell up with the nepal stories already so i might get another day in yet.

We're holding on as long as we can before we go to bed. Siesta would be fantastic but then my night's sleep will be average.

Cheerio,
Bec,
Sapa.