While I headed to Cambodia to teach (and learn!) the ins and outs of English grammar, Barry stayed behind in Vientiane to walk the dogs for the last couple of days of our housesitting assignment. Left to his own devices, he got more work done and ate most of the cake, while still getting up at sunrise to take the dogs to the swamp or the Mekong.
When Michael and his family returned, Barry chose not to follow me to Siem Reap but to head to Bangkok and do some good in the world. Impact48, the enterprise Barry started in Edinburgh, gathers volunteers together for 48 hours to create something meaningful for charity. It’s now gone international – January’s Impact48 was for an amazing wee charity in Thailand, In Search of Sanuk.
In Search of Sanuk are a truly inspiring group that directly provides food, shelter, and educational support for survivors of torture and trauma, focusing special attention on at risk women and girls.
Impact48 wasn’t affected by the political protests of ‘Bangkok Shutdown’ and the team had a successful weekend. Check out the story at Impact48.com.
I thought it might be useful to give a breakdown on what we’re spending our money on so that you can plan and save for your own travels. We’re on a pretty tight budget and watching the pennies so you can easily spend more than this. We’re travelling as a couple so things like accommodation can be cheaper than travelling alone. We do, however, require our hotels to have halfway descent wifi and a working space. We’re also working on the road so we’re not necessarily having as many of the ‘tourist experiences’ as others might.
Barry was a bit concerned about the long trip from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang but I was really looking forward to it. When faced with the choice of an expensive flight direct from Chiang Mai (on an airline that had recently crashed into the Mekong), I know which option I was always going to go with (also I promised mum not to fly with said airline).
Friday 13 December, the day our Thai visas expired, and we were up at the crack of dawn to get an early bus to Chiang Rai, the first of many legs in the day’s journey. We really needed to get on the 8am bus in order to be at the border crossing well before 6pm, when we were told it closes for the night. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on the 8am bus. It was sold out by the time we arrived at the station at 7.30am.
You may have noticed that I’ve been writing a few guest posts for Tripbod. The latest is a quick wrap up of our island hopping in the Gulf of Thailand and spending some time in Chiang Mai. They asked me to inject a bit of Christmas into it so that’s there as well. It’s a nice way to catch up on our travels if you haven’t had a chance to read the longer reports!
Read the article here.
Merry Christmas everyone.
A random picture of an elephant for you
Barry and I are now over halfway through the Marcothon. We accepted the challenge to run 5 kilometres or 25 minutes every day of December and we haven’t failed yet. We managed to overcome a few hurdles.
Day 13 might be unlucky for some but not for us. Our Thai visas expired on Friday 13 December so we were up at the crack of dawn to get an early bus to Chiang Rai and onwards to the Thai-Laos border. We decided we didn’t really have time to run before we checked out of the guest house as we hadn’t bought tickets for the bus yet and we really needed to get on the 8am bus in order to be at the border crossing well before 6pm, when it closes for the night. Unfortunately, we didn’t get on the 8am bus. It was sold out by the time we arrived at 7.30am.