'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Check Point Charlie –Day 17

What international travellers we are!

We met at the entrance at our hostel, well most of us did with a couple of exceptions, Michaela and Amreeta!! They eventually turned up to our bus that was, fortunately, late and we set off on the first part of our trip to the Loa border. We were accommodated in two buses once the company realised that 16 into a 12-seater does not quite fit. THEY ACTUALLY FIT MORE! One bus had some of us as well as some native travellers and a Spaniard and most of our bags. The other bus managed some native travellers and the remainder of our group, that bus totalling 20-a novel experience for all of us. We arrived at a small stop for brekky/morning tea. These are not the typical stop one might experience. At these short stop, roadside places one can but a myriad of confectionary and weird looking chips. The best option is to try the local food which is ample, tasty and cheap. Average cost for a meal might be $2 which includes 3 dishes.

Off again and we arrived at a change of bus stop, usually a cafe. This had wifi internet access and this gave us an opportunity to get our blogs updated and posted for your benefit. After lunch we were again into two vehicles to make our way to the Lao border. This was the first time for some of us to make a border crossing on land. It didn’t take long to get an exit stamp ($2) from the Cambodia side and walk the 100m to the visa station on the Lao side. Australians get charged $31 and then there is a further charge and then you move to the next window to get slugged $2 more for a small piece of blue paper that goes with the visa. Back on the bus and we are now in Laos-Hooray!

When the bus stopped we were escorted to a boat at the river town of Ban Haue and boarded a long tail boat to the island of Don Det. No advance accommodation had been organised so the Challengers were sent off in groups to search for an appropriate place for the night. Although not perfect we settled for the Souk San hotel (Ed. Not really a Hotel that we would think of.) with great views overlooking the water of the Mekong River and perfect for the lovely sunsets we have here.

A meal together rounded off the night and we strolled the 100m strip of shops and restaurant/bars followed by a sound night’s sleep.

Written By Mr P.

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