Just trying to catch up with myself as there seems to be no free wifi in Oz. I didn’t get a chance to tell you about our Ha Long bay trip. You may have seen the bay in the Top Gear Vietnam special. It’s incredibly beautiful and we had our own private wooden junk with two cute little en suite cabins and a chef. We mainly just cruised around the bay, lazing on the top deck (when the kids weren’t trying to throw themselves overboard!)
It was very misty and atmospheric with delicately balanced rock pillars seeming to float on turquoise sea, hundreds of tiny islands teeming with Vietnamese boat life.. Fish farms, floating snack shops, noisy tugs, coracles, tourist cruise ships, floating bamboo dog cages, sailing boats and egrets all drifting quietly in and out of the mist.
Biba had her first birthday on board and Elsa and Ren surprised her with a lovely cake and that all important first candle to blow out. It was really special and we’ll remember it for ever even is she doesn’t!
Back from Ha Long bay to unpack, wash and pack again, sleep for our flight to Bangkok and then onto Sydney. A fond farewell to our Nam buddies and into the taxi. Once at Bangkok airport we settle in for our 5 hour wait, quite a lot of which is spent in the queue to check in with BA (bloody awful…), during which Biba squeals like a banshee constantly, does three poos, they tell us we have too much baggage and cant check it in, we have to repack at the check in desks, one bag explodes everywhere and it’s 30 degrees…..argh!
Once we’re through everything is much nicer Bangkok airport is actually quite amazing and Justin gets his burger king and I get to sleep on the floor next to an AC unit so everyone’s a winner!
Until the flight…which is like the stuff of genuine nightmares, and goes on all night too! The first 2 or 3 hours pass peacefully enough – we waste this watching movies etc. Then all the other million children on the flight wake up and squeal and argue and jump about, one repeatedly kicks the back of Justin’s chair which turns out to be made of very thin nylon, when he sneaks onto the floor in desperate search of zeds another one pukes all over his seat, then Biba gets cracking with the squealing again. Some how the 10 hours pass and we drag our sorry asses into Sydders where our lovely pal Dave is waiting to take us home and put us to bed.
To get to Dave’s we have to take the Manly ferry, a fine old push me pull you boat that chugs away from Circular Quay right past the opera house with the harbour bridge in the background. The sky is screamingly blue, the sun is beaming down and it’s a gorgeous welcome to Oz…why would anyone leave!