Our Most Awful Day This Trip…
Trip Start Nov 18, 2009
26Trip End Dec 26, 2009
Boat ride was clustered but uneventful. Walked across, waited for forty minutes for the bus which turned out to be a minivan. Kids not behaving themselves at all. Easy to understand though, they’ve been pegged into a boat for a while and then told to "stay still and don’t run around" at what is normally nap time.
Got into the minivan, snagged the back four seats (despite paying for two). Sat totally expressionless, ready to fight if anyone tried to take the other two seats (three hour bus ride ahead!). No-one tried to take the seats so as we left, we exchanged congratulatory glances.
Settled into our bus ride and read books while the kids slept. A nice enough trip, although the air-conditioning wasn’t working so we were a bit hot.
Got into Pakse around 4pm and were dropped at an intersection. Consulted Lonely Planet and worked out where our nice hotel is. Walked with two big backpacks, two little bags, two kid-sized backpacks and two kid-sized kids for about a kilometre until we found the Pakse Hotel.
Checked in to our deluxe family room. Deluxe prison cell. No windows, hard as wood mattresses and the faintest smell of mould. Had an argument about the price and they offered to show us other rooms. Kythera went and was told these rooms are approx $70 US a night. Arrrgh no. We’ll deal with the cell, thank you.
Kids napped for a while and then we went up to the rooftop restaurant for dinner. Oh, this is nice. Very nice. Ordered a couple of steaks for the first time in months and sat back. I got mine. Yum, beautiful. Kythera got hers. Size of a small cupcake. She complained and sent it back. They brought a different steak back which was rare (she’d asked for well-done). Everything kinda went pear shaped at this point. After a long day of travelling, we were very emotional and that was about the final straw. Kythera sent it back saying not to bother, she’ll eat the kids’ pizza. Which was cold and tasted awful. Oh well, at least we can have a nice dessert. Oh my god, they have banana crumble. Sooooo having that! Ordered. “No, we don’t have banana crumble any more. Only thing we have is this…” as he points to something we don’t actually want. Bugger this. Taking a couple of beers back to bed. As I’m paying, Ophelia tugs at Kythera’s skirt. “Mum, I have to vomit!!!!” Kythera grabs the keys from me and bolts with Ophelia downstairs, telling her to hold it in her mouth. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuck. But she got to our room and to the bathroom in time. Well done, Ophelia.
Once the kids went to sleep, we got a couple of beers and went to a window out in the hallway and looked out over Pakse. Slow, boring Pakse. Not much to do here.
So we decided to go back to the room and plan a trip out of Laos for a bit. Kythera has her ex-stepfather Hans in Bangkok, Thailand, so we checked out prices of an overnight train to get there. Seems reasonable, and I think we might go for it and add another country to our tally!
Fell asleep a little happier than earlier in the night (the so-called “free wifi” didn’t work half the time either!). This hotel SUCKS!