Left Phonsavanh at 8:30am by bus and arrived in this fair city (Luang Probang) at 5:30 to check in at our favorite guesthouse where we stayed previously, nice folks and very convenient as well as cheap($2.00/person, 4 in room - 2 on mattresses on the floor)! We will be able to get our visas for Viet Nam processed by Thurs. 8am so will leave at 8;30 for Phonsavan to pick up Jake and head for the border on the only weekly bus into V.N. on Friday! We also picked up our malaria pills at the post office - special thanks to Daphne Cant who did much tracking and shipping stuff to get it to us on time - so all that remains is the wait here for visas! Rain today(actually last nite) so don't know if we will go to the waterfalls as previously planned. All for now...I cannot upload pictures here more than one every 5-8 minutes and at a cost of 20 cents a minute it is not worth it. Internet in Viet Nam is supposed to be much faster so will try in Hanoi!
We left Jake in Phonsavanh -he wanted to stay since he did not like the double bus trip and also $ he's spend in Luang Probang. Now that we can leave earlier we've tried to call him but ended with email to let him know of the change in plans!
7 am I woke up realizing what was happening with Whitney...yesterday we/I checked web site & email to find no less than 5 mails from Carolyn & Mark (her parents) in a panic - all dated the 28th. They had not heard from Whitney in over a week and since I gather they were less than encouraging on the phone with Whitney - now they were majorly opposed to her leaving the group. This is news to us since Whitney indicated all was Aok from home for her to go it alone!
Anyway, the real story here is not Whitney on her own - I'm sure she is fine in 4,000 islands. The story is A. Carol & Mark calling in their bets on Bush! (They donate huge $$$ to the Republican party). It was curious to me when I checked in here that the owner insisted we/I fill in all the info on passport #'s right then (never had to before) and later she said that she needed to turn them in that day or something to that affect. This was before seeing the emails ...now I understand, Mark has gotten the embassy involved who are in turn putting the screws to every guesthouse for info on Whitney's whereabouts. They are tracking her down! I dare say $200,000+ donations to Buch is going to pay off and poor Whitney is going to get a harsh awakening wherever she is. At the very least when she tries to cross the border into Thailand! It is a wake up call, we are all being watched one way or another. It may even be why our visas for V.N. were so easily hurried through the system, the authorities are checking every angle (we might have kidnapped Whitney, ha! Wow, the paranoia of the system is unbelievable! If things like that are being done I think the system is much worse off than I thought! Fear, fear and total lack of understanding...the tunnel vision of this whole crappy US government. Follow the $$$ and of course they're paranoid because they think the other side is doing just that, looking to hold Whitney for ransom! Which is totally ludicrous but that's what fear and ignorance does - creates unbelievable hallucinations and then contorts the picture so that in their minds it becomes reality.
I've taken enough drugs of various kinds and watched others totally freak out with paranoia to realize what's happening to these tunnel vision folks! I'm writing this now (about A.Carol, Mark, Bush etc.) before actually knowing ... it just came to me in a half sleep that this is what is coming down. I wouldn't be surprised if today or tomorrow Whitney is located in 4,000 islands and abruptly brought home!
Email from Carolyn...Whitney called home and is ending her travels early - they said she will be on a plane home by the weekend! I will be curious to find out if they located her or if she just coincidentally called home. Whatever, it is a shame she left the group and now is paying a very high price for her actions! She was a good, responsible travel companion, very level headed and knew what was what. I doubt very much she would have had any trouble on her own!