Vientiane can pretty much be summarised as a quick stop in the city purely to see if I could find a camera charger.
- All the locals recommended trying at a Russian Market which specialises in random electronic crap. And sure enough....they had one!!!!
- I had gone with the view that I'd be bitterly disappointed, so when he pulled out an Olympus charger that worked I was jumping up and down! With hindsight I should have played it cool because now he knew how much I wanted it, he could inflate the charges knowing i would pay no matter what. Either way I got it for the equivalent of £9 which I was pretty happy with as I'd researched buying one on eBay and shipping it over would have cost 3x the price.
- The next day, with charger successfully bought we headed out on a locals bus to 'Budda Park' - a park filled literally with hundreds of statues of Buddhas, animals and other forms of worship. It was a BOILING day and we both just felt like collapsing under a shaded tree. I don't think it helped that we'd bought a ticket on a public bus which is literally a mini van with no air con completely crammed full to bursting point. I was wedged between a monk and an old lady, and then someone plonked a toddler on my lap whilst another started stroking my arm (pale skin??). I got separated from Becca and she was shoved somewhere behind the bus driver. Halfway through the journey there was an almighty SMASH and the window nearest Becca just exploded!! Completely shattered. Luckily they were made of plastic and noone was injured but it was a bit of a shock! I asked someone near me who'd been asking me questions the whole journey (so spoke a little english) what had happened and he guessed that because it was a government bus, which some locals don't like, someone had thrown a rock at the window! But he said not to worry as the bus driver didnt own the bus... ok...
- Once safe and sound at the park we were informed the return bus would be 5 hours later (!!!). This was a long wait especially as the park was surprisingly small and we'd wandered around and took the obligatory tourist photos posing with the statues within an hour. All of a sudden we heard someone calling us and it was Karoline! A girl who we'd met in Luang Prabang and then again in Vang Vieng. We all ended up sitting in the shade eating an ice lolly killing time before we caught the terrorist attack bus home!
- That night we caught a sleeper bus to head towards 4000 islands in the south. We were told that it was bunk beds in the bus which were pretty comfy and that we'd get a 'packed lunch' so there was no need to buy dinner. Bargain! However.... Once we boarded, it was indeed bunk beds... BUT... 2 to a bunk!! And these were regular sized single bunks beds! At first we were in disbelief as to how we'd both fit on and manage to sleep on a moving bus in a country that has more pot holes in the road than flat tarmack, but after a while it was pretty funny. Especially watching people's faces as they boarded and realised the situation! It was times like this that I was grateful to be travelling as a pair and not having to share a bed with a complete stranger! To make it all seem better, I'd been given 'bed' number 28 - Mums and Joysies lucky number :) So with that I wiggled into my sleeping bag liner and fell asleep.