Getting close to the Laos border

24th July 2014

 

Not a lot to report, only that I went out on the electric bike and must have done 20k round the city, and like I said at night went out for dinner we had lots of food, in fact too much really with Spring, Guido and Paula first traveling by donkey drawn cart into the centre of the city.

We will take the motorway route on the 25th it is about 200k longer but will take about the same time (2 days).

 

25th and 26th July was driving for the two days on the motorways we crossed the highest bridge in the world and then late on the 26th arrived at Pu’er where we again met up with the rest of the convoy we went out that night with Joanna, Michael and Spring and ate Chinese’s barbeque.

 

27th July 2014

 

We met up with everybody after sleeping in a hotel and then set off for the Chinese/Laos border town called Mohan, we did stop so Spring could get a birthday cake for Guido as it was his birthday. When we arrived at Mohan, Spring said she would like to take us all out for dinner, so that evening we all sang Happy Birthday to Guido and had a nice farewell party.

 

28th July 2014

 

As normal Spring was up early getting all the documents that we needed for leaving China sorted out and we set off to the border at 8am. Spring very efficiently dealt with the Chinese officials and the girls said there goodbyes to Spring then pasted through customs and immigration, the drivers had to go back to the vehicles and follow Spring to customs. First it was Guido and TC, customs officer went on to TC then 2 minutes later cleared TC next was Trevor in his green van, customs just opened his side door and then a quick look in then waved him through, my turn with Plodd as I stopped the officer just waved me through so I stopped and said goodbye to Spring then left for Laos.

On the Laos side everything was very quick, fill in the entry and exit doc’s and we were away to buy vehicle insurance, where we found that we could only pay in Chinese’s money or Laos, not USA dollars or Thai baht anyway we scraped the money together and then left the border to spend the rest of the day driving up and down mountains taking us to the city of Laung Prabang, we arrived with Plodd looking like she was a support vehicle in the RAC rally, caked in mud, we found a nice spot by the Mekong river and also found a laundry so out came the dirty washing. We were planning on meeting Michael and Joe for a drink but we missed each other.

The next day we had planned to stay in LP but when we got up we decided to plow on to the next city Vang Vieng, we estimated it taking us about 5 hours but instead it took 8 hours the roads where absolutely knackered, holes and holes then more holes, we turned a corner and there was a great big hole in the right hand side and a truck coming towards us so I stopped to let him get past us then I would be able to use his side of the road. He was almost past when his back wheel went down a hole which made the truck and its load rock our way he hit Plodd high up on the left hand side damaging our canopy ripping off the top marker light and denting the new aluminum back panel, he stopped and he called the police, which turned up very quickly, we soon established that even though we were not moving it would probably be better if we just left without making a claim being a foreigner (Laos justice for you). We continued 2 or 3km when I looked through my mirror and could see the canopy had opened and was across the road 3m, we stopped and we just could not push it back in so in the end I had to take the decision to cut the whole thing off with my hacksaw, a thousand pounds worth of new canopy just left by the side of the road but nothing else we could do! On we went I had planned that we should park in a layby outside the hospital, which is in the centre of the town, there was just enough room for Plodd, we had a quick meal in a bar and a couple of drinks or so and then had an early night so we would be ready for the drive to the capital Vientiane the next day.

The roads were a little better but not much, anyway we arrived about 2pm (14.00) at the AV hotel Vientiane.

 

This hotel is where it all started, it is where we met Werner, Rosemarie and Fidibus for the first time, and this is where Les and I went for a meal to the restaurant La Cave and discussed the possible vehicle options if we were to decide to make the trip from UK to Thailand by road.

Les says that this hotel has a lot to answer for!!!!!

 

Rosemarie and Werner,

Plodd is now parked in exactly the same spot Fidibus was parked the day we first saw her, down the side of the hotel, do you remember?

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