Read the last post (the end at least) and this will make sense. I didn’t wake up until about 5:30 in the morning on the train. I slept very well but couldn’t go back to sleep so, I looked out the window. We seemed to be stopping but I guess that we were just passing a train on a side-rail. We then sped up and went for a while. We kept on going but before we got to the station the crew came by and knocked on our door to tell us that it was time to pack up and go. So we woke up Hannah (mom was already awake) and packed up our stuff.
I am going to pause here and tell you what it was like on the train. There were four bunks about two feet wide and almost exactly mom’s height length-wise. The beds were squashed togather with a two feet gap in between. In the gap there was a table that was about three feet long with four watter botles. There were personal lamps for each bunk and an overhead lamp on the celing. There was a window at the back of the room with drapes that didn’t realy fit on the window. And that was about all besides a blanket and a pillow. We didn’t know how dirty it was so I put my jacket over it, mom and Hannah used blow-up pillows that they had brought. The blanket didn’t look all that clean either so we got out our silk sleeping bags and slept in them with the provided blankets on top.
OK back to the story. When we got off the train we didn’t know where to go so we kinda followed everyone else. We go to the gate and a woman checked and took our tickets from us. So much for Hannah having souveniers of the overnight train. We went out and a man had a sign that had mom’s name on it and went with him to the van. We had to wait a while because the driver wanted to fill up the bus. They finally filled up the bus and we headed off. It seemed like a thirty minute ride but it was actually about an hour,s ride.
We arrived at our hotel before we were able to go to our rooms so we decided to go on a trek to Cat Cat Village with a German couple. We went a ways on on the road and then went down a path and down stairs some stairs. We saw all sorts of neat things. We went through a village and then went down more steps. We saw many rice paddies terraced on the hill. We joked that they put rice paddies wherever they could and where they couldn’t they burned and and dug and did it anyway We heard a German (not the one that came with us) saying that ten years ago that you could find this in Germany (not the rice paddies, just the wooden houses and the mountain scenery).
We kept on giong and saw some beautiful secery. And then we arrived at a waterfall. The waterfall was very pretty. We went to a place where the spray came up and we joked that it was “natural air-conditioning.” We rested for a while and then headed out. We arrived at a river and there was a sign saying “Bridge repaired, Go this way.” Well, I think that they meant to say “bridge is being repaired, go this way” so we went that way and we had to cross the river at a narrow spot on the river on a bambo bridge. It was another of those things that would never hapen in the US. We then went up a hill and go to a place that motorcycles were waiting to take you up the hill so we asked a man if he would take us all to the top of the hill he said all of us could go for 50,000 Vietnamese Dong so Hannah and I got on and then mom thought that the man wanted us all to get on but it was impposible because we had to squeeze for Hannah and I. We got to the top and mom paid the man and we went into our hotel. We checked in to the hotel and went to the room. After we got settled into the room, we went to have lunch. After we had lunch we were going to play cards but the manager came in and talked to mom about where we were going to stay because we are doing a homestay and going to a mountain lodge. After we talked we invited him to a gme of UNO. He didn’t know how to play so we taught him and played a few hands. Then we walked around town. A little girl followed us around for the entire time but didn’t try to sell us anything. Oh, I didn’t tell you that as soon as you walk out the door you are bombarded by H’mong women trying to sell you things. But this girl just followed us around town. At the end of our walk mom had to ask her if she had anything to sell. We bought a belt from her for Hannah and then she went another way and we went to our hotel. We had diner at the hotel (they have a restaurant also) and then went out for desert at Baguettes and Chocolate. We couldn’t find it but we met a woman that was looking for it also. We were thinking that it may be closed but she said that she had seen it this afternoon. We finally found it and had a wonderful dessert. Then we went back to our hotel and are about to go to bed.