Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang (not)

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Monday, February 4, 2013

We rose bright and early in preparation for the 08:00 pick-up mini bus collection for our 8 hour drive to the new Thai-Laos border crossing near Nan.

We went down to the courtyard with our bags to check out, have a drink, eat our banana cakes and giant croissant and wait for our transport to arrive. It was at this point when Terry announced that he wasn't feeling well again. We had a chat about what might be causing the upset as apart from Terry having a sweet and sour dish the previous day, we had both eaten the same and I felt fine. I wondered whether it might be anxiety about the forthcoming visit, but Terry said that the pains in his stomach were very much physical; less than ten minutes later, he had to rush to the loo.
When he returned he said that he didn't think he would be able to handle the eight hour bus journey. The owner of 'My Mum Home', who had been sitting in the courtyard doing paperwork must have sensed something was wrong, as didn't seem at all surprised when we asked to check back in again. Terry went straight up to our 'old' room and I sorted out the payment. The owners sister (we think), who was a sweet little lady asked me whether my '....hubband need hoppital? .' I said I didn't think he did yet.
I went back up to the room and spent the next few hours updating this blog and chewing the fat with people on Facebook. I had got a book to read but couldn't get into it. Terry was asleep so I didn't put on the TV - you wouldn't believe the rubbish that is on during the day anyway, hardly entertaining.

Later in the afternoon, Terry felt a little better. I think he had completely emptied the content of his stomach by this time. We went for a short stroll around the immediate area. As our plans to mini van and boat to Laos had been scuppered, we decided to return to the travel agent who had been able to offer us the cheapest flights to Laos.

When we got to the Travel Agents the lady remembered us and was surprised when we asked about flights again, as thought we had left already. I reiterated the whole sob story to her, while Terry went to get the money to pay for the flights from a nearby ATM. The lady asked me if I felt OK as she said I looked tired, I told her it was just the stress of the whole situation. When Terry returned he had not been able to get enough money out to pay for the flights; so I went to the ATM to try. The screen of the ATM was extremely scratched and I don't know what happened but basically, it wouldn't let me have any money. I returned to Terry and the agent to tell them but just as I got back to the shop I wondered whether the money had come out and I had missed it, so ran back to the machine again. No money, but now I wasn't sure whether it had come out and somebody had nicked it - complete crisis. I returned again to Terry and the agent to tell them, as now we hadn't enough money to pay for the flights. We must have honest faces as the lady travel agent gave us the tickets for flights on 06/02/02, and told us to come back later to pay the balance of 500B, which we did after cashing some Travellers Cheques. This meant another 2 nights at 'My Mum Home', which we didn't mind but would have preferred to have flown out the next day. The Travel Agent lady told us that if we phoned her in the morning at 09.00hrs, she would be able to tell us if there had been any cancellations, in which case we could change our tickets at the airport. This gave us some hope.

On return to 'My Mum Home' for a bit of a rest from the anxiety of the past few hours, Terry received a call from an 0845 telephone number which transpired to be the Fraud Department of Nat West Bank, wanting to know whether I had tried to use my card in an ATM in Chiang Mai. No money had been dispensed as I had put in the wrong PIN number.....

After a couple of hours we went out again for a small bite to eat and drinks. We returned to The Glass House where Terry played safe with Egg Fried Rice and a Ginger Ale, and I ordered my usual of Chicken in Coconut Milk and Plain Rice with a small Chang Beer.

We returned to 'My Mum Home' to once again pack up the few bits we had unpacked, in the hope that we may be able to fly out the next day; searched through about 60 Channels for something decent to watch on the TV to no avail; killed a few mosquitoes that were lurking around and retired for the night.
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Andrew on

Oh dear, bit of a false start there then! Hope Tel's feeling better.
I'd hazard a guess its the malaria tablets....
Looking forward to the Laos update!

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