Orient Express 09 travel blog

The French Invasion

During the evening on our way back to the room we found some frogs trying to break into D&K’s room. They were not satisfied with our explanation that it wasn’t their room. We tried to help them but the writing on their room key was illegible. They were convinced their bags were in that room. What was in that room was David in bed.

So they kind of requested/demanded to go inside and see. Kevin let them. I was trying my school girl French attempting to get them to go back to the desk, saying le concierge, but they still thought we had taken unlawful possession of their things. They were old...ancien.

Thank goodness another frog turned up and led them away. They weren’t believing us thats for sure.

Same same but different.

We have a saying ... same same but different At the terracotta factory where I bought my rug we crashed into another tourist who had that on his tshirt. Needless to say we were jealous and a little bit bemused as we thought we’d made up that saying ... All we have for our trouble are photos front and back of his shirt. He got it in Thailand. So now we are on the look out for those tshirts, however if they are now that common, we probably wouldn’t want one now anyway.

Flight to Wuhan.

The actual flight to Wuhan was uneventful however even though we boarded on time, we sat on the tarmac for an hour. I think they board the plane as a method of clearing people out of the airport. Lucky though as we all had to remortgage our homes to pay for the coffee in there. Just on $10au a cup.

The funny bit though is that those rules we all know when we fly... seatbelts, no electronic devices turned on, no using the loo during takeoff, seem to be just suggestions over here. D&K sat next to a girl who left her phone turned on the whole way. Others had their seatbelts off and a lady went o the loo just as we were taxying down the runway to take off. She didn’t reappear until we were well into the air. Maybe they locked her in the loo.

Helen had a bit of fun at the airport trying to use the ATM. It wouldnt let her withdraw from savings so she had to use cheque, so Ian you need to check that it hasn’t happened as a cash advance from the credit card. Because thats what happened to me in Spain. I spent ages when I got back getting my cards sorted. I have the perfect system now but shes been experiencing a bit of trouble with her cards.

On the bus now travelling from Wuhan to Yichang. Tonight the Yangtze river.

We stopped at a tiny place for a forgettable dinner. It again had the fish that looked like a porcupine.

Did I tell you about that already?

They sort of slice it a bit, then steam it... we assume they then flour it. Then deep fried and the little bits stick up. So you have a fish head, fins and tail, and the body of a porcupine. And, the others said it was good, but frankly I like my fish to look totally unfish like so I gave it a miss. And I was in no mood to eat porcupine.

When we finally got to our destination we were given a choice of golf carts or a shortish walk. Jason then removed the choice and said we all should walk, which we did. It was lovely – a beautiful warmish, very still night, walking in the dark, telling silly stories.

Getting there was via a very narrow windy road with a village along both sides... very poor looking but I’ll bet the people were happy. (There’s a lot to be said for a simple life... says the person who is still fretting that she wasn’t waxed before she went away.) It was reminiscent of patches of Morocco, looking at the road side stalls, into people’s homes, the cafes, the barbers etc. Last night I figured out something I’d been puzzling about... we haven’t really seen any cats or dogs anywhere. There were a few cats at the small white goose pagoda, and I saw another couple of dogs as we went along but really a bit strange.

So... there we were at the mooring... standing in front of the hugest passenger liner I’ve ever seen... She was beautiful and massive.

We walked on.... and... out the other side... onto the next one, and again to the third one... They got less luxurious as we went! We are on a broken down barge!!!

No ... just kidding.

Its very similar to our vessel on the Nile. We are very happy with the rooms. They are basic but ok.

D&K upgraded to a deluxe room. They have a bit of a lounge, a fridge, a bidet, a spa and a queen size bed. We have 2 very single beds, a toilet and shower. They paid a huge price in Australian dollars for the privilege.... per night... I’ll let them tell you how much. We could have had the presidential suite. 2 master bedrooms with their own full ensuites... spa, bidet etc... a massive entertaining area, another common area and a private balcony that goes across the entire back of the boat on that floor. Several hundred Australian extra per night. Quite frankly I cant see why anyone would do it, but people do.

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