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Published: February 1st 2010
Was up early to get showered, pack our things and do some shopping in Laos before our Coach left for Cambodia. Stocked up on flipflops, sunglasses etc then found another Friends bar for a quick breakfast before our departure. We were gutted we hadn't dscovered this one earlier, as the menu and service was sooo much better than the Friends bar on the corner... they even do deserts (which we've not come accross since arriving here).
Collected our backpacks from the Guesthouse and walked to the Travel office nearby. I accidentally walked barefoot through cement outside the Tubing office - ha! What a way to leave my mark! Had to quickly run back to the Guesthouse to wash my feet before the cement set.
Got crammed on to a hot minibus, then dropped at the bus station and on to the Coach to Vientiane which was far from VIP! There was no aircon, and not a fan in sight - we were riding little more than a Greenhouse on wheels, and I imagined that we were the tomato plants, with our red skin boiling up in the heat.
We turned a sharp corner and one couples chair lifted right up off it's hinges catapulting them in to the air. The blokes drink landed on some poor guys lap and the coach erupted in laughter. It took ages for everyone to compose themselves, and even then you'd hear the odd muffled giggle as someone would re-live what they'd just witnessed.
We arrived at Vientiane just before 6pm. We'd been told when we paid for the trip it would be a 24-hour journey to Cambodia, but already we were starting to doubt this was possible. Spent a tense 30 minutes waiting for our Passports to be delivered to us at the bus station (because we'd sent off for our VISA's yesterday) and I was also sitting tight waiting for a call from my manager about some announcements our company have made today. Was pleasantly surprised when a lady approached us with our passports (having identified us from our Passport photos) and shortly after I got the call so could relax again.
At 6.45pm our Sleeper Coach arrived and we jumped on board. It had bunkbeds on either side, with pillows and blankets, and other than the non-stop draft from the aircon vent it was perfect.
They gave each of us bottles of water, and some fried rice they collected on the way, and El and I indulged in a pancake with chocolate sauce from a Service station. When we got back on board, it was reassuring to see the drivers getting tanked up on Thai Red Bull.... not!
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