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Reisverslag A true adventure getting to Laos! - must read!
18 juli 2014
A true adventure getting to Laos! - must read!
The bus was on time, but trouble started when Martin wanted to put his luggage on. He is traveling whit two kiteboards which means a BIG bag! Some stuff was moved to the roof of the bus, our bags were on, ready set go!
I found a way to lie comfortabel and fell asleep cuddling my bag. Suddenly my peacefull sleep was interrupted by the busdriver screaming something in Vietnamese. Everybody started to get off the bus as quickly as they could. Was the bus on fire? Hanging over a cliff? No... We were stuck in a mudpool. The bus couldnt move anymore so we had to get off to make the bus lighter. Making my way to the front of the bus i put on my flipflops and stepped into the rain. While doing that i could hear big pieces of mud falling down the mountain hitting the side of the bus. Because of the rain the mud started to move and had blocked the road.
I didnt understand why everybody was taking the hard way out of the bus. They stepped out and climbed small hills of mud... I saw another way out... A smooth path... As i started to walk my leg dissapaered thigh deep into a thick slick pool of mud! Trying to find my balance i had to pull in my other leg aswell, doing that i was cutting my legs on the rocks in the mud which stang, to make matters worse i lost one of my dear flipflops on my way out of the free midnight mudbath.
Guided by an i-phone light we made our way over small hills of mud and stones to the other side. A small truck came to the busses' rescue and scooped the mud, including my flipflop out of the way. A big hose was brought to all of us before being allowed to enter the bus again. Wet but clean i got back to my bed...
After two more hours we arrived in the place where we had to change the bus to cross the border with Laos. When the luggagerooms under the bus were opened we found out that our bags were completely covered in mud!
The mud pool had been so deep, my legs as a witness, that mud had gotten into the storage and soaked our bags. Wet and muddy clothes! We decided it was better to laugh about this, we were on a true adventure!
On one bare foot i made my way into the toilets and changed into clothes that were more or less clean, my flipflops were changed for shoes. I was ready to go!
The bus we got into was a lot smaller than the sleeperbus. I was just a bigger minivan. As we started to make our way to the border more and more people, and more and more things were brought onto the bus. We took a lot of luggage, chickens, a small industrial machine, two big boxes filled with small boxes of tea, and more than 30 people. Its Asia, we knew this was normal so no problem.
After some corruption at the border we were officialy in Laos! Such a beautiful country.
After another hour of driving the bus broke down. One of the weels was overheated and some spareparts needed to be replaced. Being in the middle of nowhere there was no food to eat, it was 12am now and our last meal was at 6pm the night before, no cold water to drink, as i had use my water to clean my legs, and barely any shade. Martin, being an engineer, kept a close eye on the fixing proces and was happy to tell that two hours later the bus looked quite safe to drive again.
On we went!
At 3pm we entered a small town, the end stop of our bus. We were told to get off. We didnt understand why! Before we got on the bus we had asked several times if the bus was going to Luang Prabang, our destination. Ofcourse is was going there, but actually it was not!
We were stuck! In the smallest town of small towns. Ah well... It just meant a break for traveling for many hours. We decided this was just another part of the adventure we were on. Together with another girl we met along the way we found a place to stay, and had a perfect nice night. We had some nice company in the bedroom, bads and rats, not too shabby!
Being safed by the info in our lonely planets we knew how to get out of this small town and to continue our way to Luang Prabang. We had to take a bus at 8.30am to Oudomxay and from there take a bus to Luang Prabang.
After some sleep i felt ready to hit the road again... But where was Martin? He overslept... I decided to go to the busstation and meet him there. Just in time Martin made it. Again a small bus, filled with too many people, there were some chairs to sit in the aisle, and a lot of luggage. With a three hours journey ahead of us we were in a good mood, this would be easy.
One and a half hour later the bus stopped. In front of us was a new mudpool... But this time there was a small truck stuck in the middle of the pool. It was loaded with beer, water, and soda. So it was heavy... Our bus tried to make its was around the truck through the pool, but it didnt succeed. We pulled back out and had to wait for the small truck to be pulled out. That shouldnt have been so hard... Unless there was no rope around... After a while one of the trucks that had been driving behind us had a rope, a thin rope... So it kept breaking while trying to pull the truck out of the puddle. As one minivan tried to make its way, just like our bus had tried before i got stuck right next to the truck! Now there was no way to go around anymore! The minivan got pulled and push at the same time and got away... Now just the truck!
A better rope was found and after many attemps the truck was finally pulled! It took over a hour!
Back on the road, the old guy sitting next to Martin fell asleep. He was such a friendly guy! I had had a nice conversation with him before... But having less teeth than years left on his life he stared to drool on Martins leg and arm. As the sweet man felt ashamed he cleaned Martin up, a new friendship was made!
On the way to Odoumxay we only stopped once more... The battery of the car was broken, it was unhooked, the music was turned off aswell as the AC. No problem... We just couldnt make any more stops.
After arriving in Odoumxay we brought our tickets to Luang Prabang. We had some time to get lunch, and walked a little around the town. After returning back to the busstation, we found out that the bus we were supposed to take for five hours was not really a bus... Its was an old, very old, bus. Fitted for 9 persons, eventhough we managed to get 18 persons and two big bags of rice on. Let alone the heaps of backpacks, chickens, and other stuff on the top of the van.
With half an hour of driving on the bad roads of Laos, the van stopped. Why? Another broken tire or battery? The driver got out, took two stept and started to take the pressure of his blatter, to be honest, the relief was not only on his side!
We continued our journey and got only interrupted by some luggage falling of. Ot was put right back on to continue as fast as possible.
At 8pm we finally arrived in Luang Prabang. Sigarets were lit, high fives were given, luggage was taken of the van, we were there!
We knew that it was not going to be easy, but that all this was going to happen... We could have expected this! On the way, i was so happy to have the company of Martin and others we met along the way. We had a true adventure, many laughs, loads of high fives and two days never to forget.
18 juli 2014 14:24 | Door: tineke
Hier op mijn ligstoel in een bloedheet Assendelft je verslag gelezen. Ik heb genoten en hoop dat je volgende reis ook zo "gezellig" zal zijn. Ik kijk weer uit naar je foto's. Veel plezier nog en groetjes van je tante.♡