...as in "Dang, the bus is really leaving me here!" I was the only one to get off in Danang...should've been a sign! The bus stop guy at the local tourist agency was less than helpful...he tried to steer toward a $15 hotel!!!! I said no thank you and was on my way to one of the Lonely Planet recommendations, Hoa's place, leaving my bags behind. I had picked up a card at the Hanoi Backpackers Hostel...and went to find a moto driver...I actually had to hunt for one! So different from the other cities. I found a guy and we haggled a bit...he quoted me a distance in kilometers...and I still haggled him down a bit. Almost the same instant I hopped on the back of that bike it started to rain! We DROVE FOREVER!!!! I got soaked in my jeans, tennis shoes...and when we got to the place I was Shocked!!!! It was a clapboard place, far from much else. Deeply disappointed, I felt that I should see the famous China Beach and walked down a few yards to take a peek. It would've been beautiful, if the rain wasn't stinging my eyes. I went over to a stand to ask about a plastic pullover that all the people wear...instead I got a girl that wanted me to buy bracelets so she could go to school...she would not leave me alone! My moto driver found a plastic pullover of his own and off we went to take a look at other options...and this time it wasn't just rain but blowing sand stinging my face!!! It looked like there was a storm a coming!!!! I peeked over at the Marble Mountains and promised myself that I'd go, rain or shine...in sandals. I looked again in the Lonely Planet and found another hotel nearby on the river, the main selling it had cable...and an eerie resemblance to "The Shining"! Or "The Grudge". And was that blood on the walls? It was the cheapest, if not, the cleanest option. I found a place to eat...and rats the size of housecats. I decided that after a nice breakfast to see the Cham Sculpture Museum and met a waiter named Ken, he said that I looked like a rock star with my pink hair...I decided to stay another day and give the people a chance to grow on me!!! He actually sat down and practiced his English with me!!! I found a moto driver and we went to the Marble Mountains, it was spectacular!!! I loved it!!!! I bought postcards because my battery was dead in my camera...good choice considering. I walked in ancient caves...there were quite a few!!! It was lovely. What wasn't so lovely was my moto driver trying to hustle me for 500,000 dong! We argued for twenty minutes about the price...and short of telling him to...do something not so nice to himself...I found my composure and paid him a fraction of the price! I don't know how I did it...I was that angry. I finally got the Cham Sculpture Museum, and that was lovely too. I was also met a nice lady and had a conversation with a phrase book/sign language...she was a lot of fun! I bought some kind of weird coconut jelly dessert from her...delicious! I was VERY happy to get out of Danang and get to Hoi An!!!!
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