The new year came in with a bang and some more bangs and was still banging after we got up at 5.30am.
The 5 hour bus ride ended up costing us a fiver each including the backhander for the bikes. The bus was way flasher than we thought it was going to be considering this was a 'local bus' service, not a tourist bus. We were expecting a cronky old tatty bus crammed full of people, chickens and a goat or 3. Mind you, we could have done without the guy opposite constantly snorting and coughing up an endless supply of goo from deep inside his inner sanctum.
With the bikes safely stored inside we sat back and relaxed in air con comfort (relative to a bicycle saddle).
It was quite nice just bimbling along through the countryside listening to the latest hits on our iPod (Sade, "Your love is king" still stands the test of time and as for Ten Sharp "you", what can I say?!).
It was fun at the main stopping points when the hawkers got on, selling anything on a stick from a donut to a BBQ chicken,
The road was pretty interesting as it wound its way through loads of little towns and villages that of course weren't marked on our map. It would have made a pleasant cycle and I now regret not doing it. Kate says there is no time in this world for regrets....
We pulled up at some point near some handy bushes for a pee stop, well for the boys anyway...
Then at a junction it all changed. The bikes were off loaded and the guy said something about another bus was coming and people would join this bus. We were the next major stop so assumed he didn't want to bury the bikes. Good theory. But no, we were actually destined for another bus - this one much more 'local'. We only found out because I popped off the waiting bus to stretch my legs to see the bikes being loaded onto another bus. Time to go!
Now we were with no aircon, not much foam left in the seat but still the same chicken sellers
It bounced its merry (?) way down the road to Savannakhet and off we got.
Arriving in any new place is always a bit stressy. Finding your bearings, finding the Lonely Planet to be out date and then finding a room is all a bit of a bore. It was made harder by it being New Years Day so a lot of places are shut. the town feels kind of dead which didn't help our mood. Kate says she might even have a beer tonight, things must be getting bad!
Thailand is on the opposite bank of the river. I'm not sure if I've ever seen another country from across a river? Does looking at Wales from Liverpool count? Nah.....