Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Foggy Days

Day 356
I woke up a bit before the train stopped, but didn't bother to grab my things until after it had arrived. As soon as we stepped off the train we had several guys hovering around us wanting us to go in their mini van. They wouldn't even leave us alone while we checked out our guidebooks and picked a hotel.

Eventually we did just go wit one of the guys. The road was winding and soon it was evident that we had picked wrong. Our minibus started to overheat every few minutes causing the hour long trip to take about twice as long.

When we got to Sapa we were surrounded in a fog like I had never seen before. It didn't take us long though to find our way to our hotel of choice. Our room was on the top floor. If there hadn't been so much fog we would have had a great view. We really wanted food more than anything else and headed right back out. While we walked up a huge hill we were followed by several Hmoung women trying to sell us things. We managed to convince them that we would think about buying things after breakfast.

When we left the restaurant the women were waiting. They were really quite smart about they way they did things. They asked us loads of questions about our lives before even trying to sell us anything. There were six of them and we both felt that we couldn't just buy from one person. We ended up buying one small thing from each person. I felt like I had been taken until we visited a small museum about the Hmoung people. The money we spent would be enough for them to buy meat for their children's dinners that night. We only spent about $3 each. That wasn't a problem. I just have no idea what to do with the bracelet, whistle or wallet that I have now.

We ended up speaking to one of the woman a bit longer. Her name was Pie and she was 23. She had four children, but one had died about a year ago due to an accident. She had been married at 16 and her husband was apparently not very nice to her. She already had gray hairs despite how young she was.

The plan for Sapa was to do a trek, but all the offices were shutting down for lunch at this point. We ended up going back to our hotel and take a nap for a bit. When the shops were open we headed out. After a few places we found just what we wanted. I only wanted to do a day trip and Nicole wanted an overnight one. We found one where I would just leave and she would carry on.

That evening we had dinner at an English pub and then a couple drinks at the one bar in town worth going to. We called it an early night though, due to the early morning start.

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