Wednesday, February 23, 2011

death machines & jungle

Arriving back from breakfast to find lotus flowers drizzled all over our bed, is one thing. Going to breakfast to find 8000 foods to eat, some unrecognisable, is another.

It was time for the Hippie Colony.

And so we caught a bus, south. It was, for at least 5 minutes, very funny.

It was a full-on dormitory. The bus itself was called the "Flying Cuc Thuc." And it was rammed full of travellers, all reclined, at a cool 85 degree angle.
It was chairs, longitudinally, stacked up on top of each other, and the driver had to physically find a place to wedge us in.

The bus was our only option over Tet/Chinese New Year. Shit doesn't happen over this time, so the journey of 12 hours south, in the Death Machine was our last option.

We stepped aboard and were told to immediately take our flip flops off. Ah. A Buddhist bus. The Flying Cuc Thuc was a vehicular temple.

In the back of our heads, we had a niggling feeling that we may die. Been told by Lonely planet and friends that the driving in Vietnam - and let's not even include motorbikes here - accounts for the highest road deaths in the whole of South East Asia.

If you think potholes in Mozambique are bad, or that taxi you took from Wynberg to Newlands nearly offed you, think again. These guys will happily drive over a pavement if they can't be bothered to wait in traffic. Blind rise? No sweat, just drive right up to another car until the last second and swerve.

So, given we were stuffed onto the top bunk, at the back of the bus was a bit of a relief. It meant we couldn't see what the road looked like, or see anything before we died.

The driver was an interesting specimen. He saw my two Vietnamese cone hats I'd bargained for at the Hoi An market and promptly throw a temper tantrum.

It sounded like he was a Kung Fu fighter. Arms waving in the air, foam about the mouth.

Peas: What appears to be the problem?

Driver: KongDongChaWawaDongChangTrangChucMung! Ha!

[Whole bus is staring. The Australians - obligatory in South East Asia - sigh - are smirking at us]

Peas: Look, I'm keeping my hats.

He tries to relieve my hands of the precious cone hats.

Peas: Fine. I'll wear them. I'll wear them the whole journey. Happy? [Put on head]

Driver: KongDongChaWawaDongChangTrangChucMung! Ha!

Peas: Mate.

Driver takes them and puts them on his head. And that's how they were stowed for the entire journey down to Nha Trang.

Needless to say, we got bitten by bed bugs, and we had to make Pringle Burgers for dinner. [My new little amazing picnic snack I've since conjured. Pringles either side of a The Laughing Cow cheese. Dinner. Boom.]

The bus felt like it was veering off the road half the night, and while this was all put down to "wow, we are so adventurous, let's embrace this moment," I was fucking happy to get off.

Nha Trang wasn't our final destination though. Jungle Beach was. This was the part of the holiday where we would get back to basics, eat rice and bath in the ocean.
It was an hour and a half away. We found a willing taxi driver to take us the distance to...the middle of the jungle basically.
We were recommended this place by a friend. It's still relatively unknown, so don't tell anyone.
As we bounced along dirt tracks, tiny villages, for what seemed like hours to Destination: Nowhere, I thought, "This had better be bloody good."

On the way we saw two warthogs shagging on the side of the road.

If I was ever close to being on the set of Survivor, this was it.
The place was enevloped with lush, tropical jungle, rice was the staple on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

We stayed in a bamboo hut, right on crashing, warm waves.

There was no Internet connection.

For the first time in a year, I had nothing to do.


Flarkit said...

So, what did you do? :)

Peas on Toast said...

Eat rice, shag, swim, sleep, shag, eat rice...:)

Flarkit said...

I heard shagging with a full tummy causes a pain in the side??? It's better to first swim, then drink cocktails and you should be good to go!

Peas on Toast said...

Flarkit - Thanks for the advice dude :) Haha!