Day 35: They Can Take Our Lives, But They’ll Never Take Our Duncan!

It was a sad day for us, as today we had to say goodbye to our friend Duncan. The alarm woke us up around eight a.m., after showering, and packing the bags, we went to the Otherside for our final breakfast together. It was here, that we watched a couple episodes of friends, while I enjoyed another chicken baguette. Brandon soon joined us, after he booked a ticket for the same bus as us, to Luang Prabang.

The clock was tiptoeing it’s way towards eleven o’clock, which meant we had to catch our bus. Outside of the hotel we gave Duncan, a huge group hug, and said our goodbyes. We promised to stay in touch, and will visit him one day, when this adventure is over. As well as saying goodbye to Duncan, we also said farewell to the two annoyingly loud birds, which were caged up outside the main entrance. I’m not sure what type of birds they were, but, they were capable of duplicating any sound they heard over a period of time. However, they only had a limited vocabulary, due to most people only greeting them, so, when it came to us saying goodbye, the little feathered nuisances, could only say “hello,” in response.

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Brandon, Sarah and I, were taken via tuktuk, to the coach we’d be riding to Luang Prabang. Initially we thought we had seat numbers, however, upon boarding we saw the back seats were free. This was good news for me, as with me having long legs, it meant I could stretch them out down the aisle. The journey ahead, we thought, would be nice and smooth, how wrong we were to be so naive. It was worse riding in the back, as, much like the minibus, every corner was exaggerated. With every hill we climbed, and every corner we took, we were lifted from our seats, due to the suspension of the coach compressing with every bump we hit, to the point where we resembled a dog mainting its balance during a car journey. If it were England, the taxpayers would be kicking up stink about the quality of these roads. At some points of the journey, we felt as though, we were going to die, because, the only thing preventing us from falling to our impending doom, was that of a three foot high metal railing.

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The coach journey lasted about six hours. We arrived at Luang Prabang at five thirty, where upon exiting the vehicle, we were ambushed by tuktuk drivers, like mad paparazzi to celebrities. We climbed into one of them, and asked him to take us to the town centre. The tuktuks here were different again, they had a similar front to the ones of Bangkok, with the driver sitting on an adapted motorbike, but the passenger area, had two benches facing each other, and, would seat around eight people comfortably.

The driver dropped us off, and, we began to wander, however, I was lugging mine and Sarah’s big backpacks around, while following her and Brandon through the local market stalls. We asked a few travellers where the hostels were, to which they pointed us in the right direction. Instead of going straight there, we stopped in a restaurant/ bar for a refreshing drink. When we were done, we headed to the strip with all the accommodations. At first, we spoke to one guy who claimed to have a good deal for us, so, we followed him a little way out, before he changed the price of his original offer. With that, we left, and, luckily, found a better place for less money.

We paid for one night at the Laos guesthouse, before heading out to meet up with Cleo, Charlotte, and Jenna, at a bar named Utopia. During the walk there, Brandon and I, bought a chicken, bacon and cheese baguette, now, I don’t know what sort of magic the woman put in there, but, it was the best dam sandwich I had had in a while. We soon found the bar, where we played cards, and had a beer, before the girls joined us. We caught up with them, while playing more card games, then all walked back together, after the bar closed at eleven (don’t forget, there’s a curfew in Laos).

Before we left, I had the issue of trying to find my flip flops in the dark, but, because they were a black pair I couldn’t see them, so, I ended up grabbing some which I thought were mine. Turned out, they were someone else’s, and, were two sizes two small, ah well, they only cost three pounds anyways. Cleo and Charlotte, were staying in a hostel, literally five metres away from us, so, we arranged to see them in the morning for breakfast before saying goodnight, whereas Jenna, was staying in a different hostel altogether. We had a spare bed in our room, and seeing as we were paying for the room, not per person, she agreed to join us at our hostel and split the bill. Before heading in, I saw three stalls were still open for business, one of which was selling Oreo milkshakes, with that, I immediately pulled out my money, and, enjoyed a taste of home, before the three of us headed back to rest our weary heads.

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