Saturday, July 14, 2012

Planes, Various Kinds of Boats, and Automobiles

We were up bright and early at 5:30am, though I had been up since about 4 listening to a rooster with an inability to tell time crowing and doing various yoga poses that I hoped would cause my bladder to miraculously evaporate so I didn't have to venture into the pitch dark to go to the bathroom.   About 5am my need to pee overtook my need to not be eaten alive by mosquitoes or dismembered by monkeys and I used the extra half hour to contemplate the meaning of life and whatnot.

At our sendoff home stay breakfast I consumed about 3 loaves of delicious baguette topped with the Vietnamese equivalent of laughing cow cheese, jam and/or eggs, sugar bananas and my own personal mini brewed cup of coffee with condensed milk.  Then it was time to pile back in the bus- Hai had us on a strict timeline today.

After a couple more van/boat transfers we arrived at the floating markets.  There was an incredible amount of activity and our guide wove us through the various vendors selling items from their boats.

We took a break and climbed aboard the roof of a boat selling pineapple where the owner gave us a demo on how to prepare it popsicle style and offered a treat to those of us that aren't allergic to it.

Then it was time for the long trek back to Ho Chi Minh airport for us to catch our flight to Con Dao island.  On our way we saw a ridiculous amount of motorbikes with extreme cargo:

At the airport we bid a sad farewell to  Kaitlin, as it was time for her to jet back to L.A., then went inside where we had a small discussion with the woman at the counter when she asked Nattie to show the credit card that she purchased her flight with.  Of course the only person that she asked was the only person that didn't have it and then she told her she needed to buy a new flight.  We spoke to the manager and got it sorted out, then went to meet Heggie, who had been having her own travel troubles and ended up missing a connection & getting stranded in Austria so she missed the Mekong Delta trip.

After a quick 45 minute flight we touched down over turquoise waters at a tiny airport on Con Dao island.

We arrived at our hotel- Con Dao Camping, where we made a little friend at the check in area.

So we attempted to check in, only to discover after a great deal of confusion, confounded by the language barrier, that although we had booked two rooms online about two weeks ago, they only had one of them for us.  So they ended up basically making a wall of beds and we slept party of 5, all across them.

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant by the beach, and ordering was also an adventure since even the girl that they called over to speak English didn't speak any English and also didn't understand what the little pocket translator my mom bought for me spoke at her.  But when all was said and done we ended up with a pretty tasty little assortment of dishes and some beers so all was right with the world and we went to bed shortly after.

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