08 November 2012

Day 6: A Comedy of Errors

We have had such a clean run thus far, a morning where everything doesn't go perfectly well was not only expected but almost appreciated. Almost. Today we made the move from Cambodia to Vietnam which meant, devastatingly, having to say goodbye to Vutthu, our absolutely incredible local guide in Cambodia.

The border was as you'd expect: a paved road becomes a dirt road becomes no man's land as you drift between the two nations in a brilliant dance of changing states. Getting out of Cambodia was easy enough: passport, big stamp, big stamp, thump thump thump, grumpy look, grunt, intense eye contact with immigration official, done.

Entering Vietnam, however, was a bit more tricky. The Embassy in Australia misdated Dan's visa, which meant a last-minute wham bam emergency version so he could enter. Vi had an e-visa which, while valid, could not be used at this land border crossing for no reason in particular. Just a "special" one. W begged and pleaded and sat and waited as our new local guide "made a call." Somehow, miraculously, after a little official money for a new visa and quite a bit of unofficial money for the privilege, Vi too made it in! It's was great news, as we had been planning her return to Pnomh Penh (5 hours away) to get a new visa using the public bus then returning to the border and re-entering Vietnam only to join us at our hotel another 3 hours beyond the border. Thankfully, she and I didn't have to do that!

Because of the delay we had to modify our cycling distance a bit (though we will still pass 400 km in total). I gave a rousing speech about how ur luck would change only to have it start pouring with rain before Kate and a moped got a little too close for comfort.

Thankfully, there were hammocks and laughing cow cheese waiting for us at lunch and we devoured every last bite! It's onward to the hotel now for some MUCH NEEDED rest and relaxation. Tomorrow is a new day and a fresh start in our new host country. Can't wait!




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