Tuesday we took a bus from the Capital of Laos, Vientiane to Chang Mai, back in the much loved Thailand. Maybe travelling around South East Asia has taught miss Alex and me to be cynical about transport but we fully expected the advertised 15 hour bus ride to be much much more than 15 hours. Due to check out time being at 11am at the guest house we were sat waiting for the bus to pick us up for 4 hours. In the lobby a young family were also sat waiting to be picked up, with a screaming little girl miss Alex and me looked at each other praying that this family wouldn’t be on our bus. This little girl was sooo loud and the screaming was everlasting. The prospect of 15 plus hours on a bus overnight with this constant screaming would make me want to chance my arm and hitch a lift from the side of the road. Waiting for the bus I went through my normal pre bus ritual of 10+ toilet trips to squeeze every last drop out of me. For some reason the prospect of being caught out and having to sit on a bus with on loo for hours and hours on end strikes the fear of God into me. Even the buses with no toilets on, stop every couple of hours but I still feel the need to go, just in case it doesn’t stop. It drives miss Alex mad as she’s boarded the bus embarrassed whilst I pee and hold the bus up. The bus came to pick us up and the family with the little screaming girl thankfully didn’t board our bus. The journey already felt so much better already.
The border crossing across to Thailand was easy and simple, shortly after the crossing we were dropped off in Udon Thani to wait for another bus to take us all the way to Chang Mai. Here we took our first opportunity to have a Pad Thai and it didn’t disappoint. It was plate licking stuff!! This is where miss Alex and me met an Italian fella who was in Thailand to send some stock back to his market stall in Genoa. He was telling us during the summer months he is a full time clown. I thougt this was very cool, because I could just picture him with a set of big shoes on and a red curly wig with a big red noise. Another bloke doing the same trip as us was from Australia and he had booked a weeks meditation in Chang Mai, up in the mountains near by with monks. He’d just given up a really good career job working in the mines in Australia because he didn’t want his job to overtake his life. I admired him a lot for that.
The bus left Udon Thani on time and our tickets had miss Alex and me down for front seats. These are the same seats we had coming back to Bangkok from Phuket. There is about 5 foot in front of your out stretched legs. We were even treated to a carton of fried rice each. This was going to be heaven. A blanket was placed on the backs of each chair, little did we know we’d really need these blankets through the night though. The air con was on maximum I’m assuming to keep the driver wide awake.
A lot of shivering later the bus arrived at Chang Mai on time. 6.30 am and the journey had taken 15 hours that was advertised.
After a couple of days of just looking around and walking, taking in the sights and getting our bearings of Chang Mai we booked onto the Jungle Flight trip. Jungle flight had over 20 ziplines, 4 absails (one of them a 40 foot drop) a couple of rope bridges. At times we were 50 metres above the jungle floor below. We managed to get some really good pictures and videos that will be put up on Facebook very shortly. Miss Alex really surprised me, very little screaming and lots of bravery. She threw herself into all the ziplines quite literally. As part of our kit we were each given a bamboo stick with a hook on to use as a brake, by placing on the wire and applying pressure to stop before the oncoming platform. Miss Alex actually thought these were pick axes to climb with!! One zipline I obviously didn’t apply enough brake and hurtled at MACH 5 towards miss Alex and a really big tree that held the platform. I honestly thought for a second I’d bring a new meaning to tree hugging.
Yesterday Dave or David as he prefers to be known, after 15 years of calling him Dave, arrived for a 2 week visit. We met him at the airport. We have a boss 2 weeks planned for him and hope he leaves with the same love for Thailand as miss Alex and me. Its really good to see him again and it made me think about all of our friends and family back home, how much we miss them.
Speak Soon xxx