Day 135, Friday 18 May 2012, Savannakhet to Vientiane
Frustratingly I was still awake at midnight so I popped half a pill in the end so I could some sleep. The room was too warm to sleep with the fan off and too noisy with the fan on. I was awake at five and spent the next hour pondering on whether to go direct to Vientiane, which was my intention yesterday or go to Tha Kaek – which was the plan the day before. I want to go to Kock Lo cave which is about half way between both places, and it sounded like a hassle getting from Kock Lo to Vientiane so I will go to Vietiane and hope they have day tours there – which will be fine by me.
With that in mind I was up at 6.00, on a tuk tuk to the bus station by 6.30, and the bus to Vientane by 6.45. Sadly the bus made it about 100 metres out of the bus station before breaking down ! it is now over half an hour later and I am typing this as we wait. The bus has four human passengers and a seemingly endless supply of mosquitoes.
The King of Bus never moved another inch !
Though not through lack of effort from the man in the hole.
And now it is the following day….
After an hour of waiting we were bundled onto another bus which was not quite the standard of the one we left – but at least it was moving. It was pretty much the same as the one I was on yesterday – with a wee bit less leg room and a whole load more passengers, though for the first four hours to Tha Kaek I did have both seats to myself.
We stopped for a break at Tha Kaek and I grabbed a wee, a snack and some water and jumped back on the bus to ensure my window seat for the long leg to Vientiane. As I was waiting for the bus to leave I spotted my Dutch friends from Don Det – David and Debbie, getting out of a tuk tuk and on to the bus, awesome – some much needed company. The journey from Tha Kaek took almost seven hours and the bus was packed, with people sitting in the aisles for most of the way, but I had a seat and a window, which was better than some. I also noticed that even though some were sitting on a plastic stool in the aisle they paid the same price as me.
If you can put it on a stick, its for sale !
It was a long slow journey, but at least I had people to talk to. We arrived in Vientiane at 6.30 PM – just under a twelve hour trip and my back was killing me.
We found a guesthouse and booked in for the night, and arranged to meet for dinner. The first thing I did when I got to my room was wash my hands and splash some water on my face. The amount of dirt that came out was just amazing – the joys of a long open window bus ride. Debbie had a yearning for pizza and there was no way I was going to argue with that, especially as I had only eaten a bag of crisps all day.
An early night followed, exhausted.