At 8 pm Monday night, we all boarded the train for Hue, (pronounced "H-way"). We had heard many stories about this train, and we were not to be disappointed.The toilet was a hole in the ground, to be shared by all in the carriage. Subsequently, I went for 14 hrs without relieving myself.
There are 15 of us on the Challenge, and each cabin takes 4, so I ended up in the cabin of 3. On our arrival, we found a young Vietnamese woman breastfeeding her 8 month old daughter. She was to be our fourth passanger. We were not very happy about that; after all, the baby was a baby, and they are infamous for crying at night in strange places. The cabins were tiny, and after we all fitted our luggage in, there was little room to move. Most of the cabins in our carriage were occupied by young Australian adventurers, and they turned out to be a rowdy lot. Leanne even met someone from her fellow town of Geelong, and he gave her $25 towards her challange. Drinks were a plenty, and it was the Australians who made the most noise through the night, not the baby; she slept through without making a peep!
Us 'older' Aussies kept each othe rcompany swapping stories until we crept into our new silk sleeping bag covers, bought in Hanoi, and attempted sleep.
Early next morning we were happy to see that our scenery was rice paddies, as we rolled into Hue, sorta ready for our first ride....