Trip Start Jan 03, 2012
163Trip End May 02, 2013
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Where I stayed
Then the ride begins, giving us a chance to feel out the driver. Even with the same company on the same route, some are agonizingly slow and some are fear-for-your-life fast. Some are happy to coast behind a motorbike while others will take on a gas tanker truck at high speed with the narrowest of escapes
More anxious moments as the baggage doors are opened at random roadside stops. We wouldn't think twice back home but with all we've read about theft, we remain on high alert. Sometimes bags are stored on the roof, exposed to the elements, so we have a strict 'rain covers on' policy for travel days.
Suddenly, a motorbike driver with no mirrors and no shoulder check turns back onto the road, the bus brake pedal goes down hard and a young couple come within a few feet of losing their lives.
Arriving at a new and unfamiliar destination a little early or a lot late leads to a search for any sign or landmark to help orient us and avoid being led astray, usually meaning paying for additional unnecessary transport.
All that covers only road travel. Everything changes on a boat where our bags and bodies may be splashed with salt or sewer water, a nice segue to our boat ride down the Mekong River into Vietnam. We also have a 4-leg, 4-airline flight from Thailand to New Zealand booked for April so we can only hope our checked bag arrives with us.