Tuesday, 15 March 2016

van vieng

After having my favourite day of the trip so far a couple of days ago, my least favourite quickly followed. It was inevitable that at least one of us would get ill given eating the local food and accidentally consuming the water, and today was my turn. Of course it would be a day when we were going for a 7 hour bus journey.

I started feeling sick last night, and my body's attitude to sickness is like 'go hard or go home'; I rarely get ill but when I do I do it properly. I went to sleep really early in the hope of sleeping through it; trying not to think of the questionable lukewarm buffet food I'd consumed a couple of hours before.

I woke up still feeling a little sick and with my stomach making sounds like a dog growling but I figured if i was going to be sick it would have happened by now. Oh, how wrong I was.

We got breakfast, I couldn't finish (a worrying sign) and got a tuk tuk to where we were getting the bus from. We waited there for about an hour, I took some paracetomal and upset stomach tablets to hopefully prevent vomiting on the bus. So naive.

We boarded and set off. The roads were pretty horrific; we were going around and up mountains on these worryingly thin roads. Every time we turned a corner (marked nicely with signs like 'very dangerous road' or 'very sharp corner') the driver would have to beep the horn repeatedly to warn anyone coming the other way as the road could only fit one vehicle.

A combination of this, already feeling sick, a very coupley couple say next to me and taking my headphones out to discover that James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful' was playing contributed to me vomiting. 2 hours in to the journey. Fortunately I was organised and managed both lots neatly into a plastic bag, so quietly that no one on the bus noticed. I couldn't see a positive of telling the driver; there was nowhere to stop and i had a horrible image of the driver refusing to drive me and abandoning me on the mountain. So I double bagged it, popped it on the floor next to me and focused on staying conscious, until an hour later someone else was sick and we stopped off at a little town. I lowkey sprinted to the toilets; holes in the ground you had to hand flush fearing i'd be sick again. Fortunately not, but my cubicle also had no little bin in it so I ended up abandoning the bag of sick with a pile of rubbish. I'd like to apologise to anyone if they pick it up.

The others bought drinks and we went to sit back on the bus, i was unsure I could survive the next 4 and a half hours but we had little choice. I'm usually queen of sleeping in vehicles but because of the roads it was impossible, and I spent the next hour and a half trying not to be sick (i only had one bag left- the panic was real). Then a small miracle occured as the driver announced that we'd arrived in VanVieng, 3 hours earlier than expected. I nearly cried. We got off the bus and almost straight away got a tuk tuk to a hostel we'd looked up online. We'd been planning to stay in a dorm room to save money which I started to dread as I felt like I could die at any moment, but a private triple room was about £10 per night so we got that.

We went upstairs, and everything felt like it was happening in slow motion. The girl showing us our room chatted to us for what felt like forever, she couldn't unlock the door and then just kept chatting. Normally this would be great but I was so worried i'd be sick into her that I couldn't wait for her leave. She did and I spent a solid 15 minutes sitting in the bathroom expecting to vomit any second. Eventually I crawled into bed and napped for the next few hours.
(Molly's photo of the view from our balcony)
Meanwhile the others went out into the town. It's way more touristy than I was expecting; it has almost like a strip I nightclubs and we were given vouchers for free drinks and stuff. Lauren and Molly have contributed this description of the town (impressive after a couple of drinks) 'everything is within walking distance and there are good pizza places. It's peaceful in the day time and there are pretty lights at night' - (it sounds like I'm talking to young children)

The others bought me water and ice tea and after drinking that and about 3 hours of lying down I started feeling better and by 6 ish I was pretty much back to normal. The others started prinking to go out and getting ready, and by 7.30 I decided to go with them and not drink; essentially a chaperone. We're currently in the first place, it's cool with booths to sit or lie in with your drinks and lights on the ceiling. We got free shots on the way in (I passed) and a free whisky and coke (I just had coke- I know, what a wild night). The others have dressed up and put make up on; I'm sporting the alternative look of my dad's race top I slept in earlier and a pair of baggy trousers.

We actually had a fun evening; an English guy who worked at the bar came and sat with us and we chatted about travelling and the area for a couple of hours. Then we headed home about 12ish. Sorry for the lack of photos; I spent the rare moments I could focus enough to check my phone trying to check I didn't have malaria.

Laura x

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