After much prep and planning the last month, I woke at 3.40am in Wellington, showered, dressed and walked my 30KG bag to the street to meet the taxi. It is a nice feeling not having to worry about too many things in the morning especially when it’s early.
I had lived off lists this past week, completing all my client projects on time, ensuring things at home are organised. I like to come home to a clean house and little things all take time like watering plants, doing garden so the weeds aren’t TOO many on my return, empty the fridge, clean the coffee machine etc. This trip to Laos, my 4th, seemed rather rushed, I was still booking somewhere to stay only yesterday.
I am very relaxed. I forget how at the moment I have checked in my bag (anxiety about bag weight is over) and I’m sitting on the plane, it is a calm, relaxed feeling. I suspect because I have planned well and my brain has nothing to worry about.
My Qantas bag receipt shows my bag checked in all way to Vientiane, however Qantas crew weren’t so sure. Slight anxiety but it’s only clothes etc. I squeezed in 4 movies and a sleep and had all 4 seats to myself which was good.
Arriving Bangkok I found major renovations and it was almost impossible to find the transit gate and Qantas desk. One airport staff said my bag would be checked through and I didn’t have to go through immigration, however the other said differently. I took my chances and found the Lao airlines check-in desk poked away in a tiny area on Level 3 and checked in.
The flight on the Lao ATR72 was uneventful except the Beerlao I was served (nice having a Beerlao before I even arrive Laos) was knocked and spilled over my trousers, as me and my neighbour struggled for room to complete all the immigration paperwork. Luckily they dried by the time we arrived however the smell wasn’t great.
Arriving Vientiane friends were there to pick me up and I was whisked to the guesthouse (once they found it) and dropped my bag. We then drove round the Vientiane countryside to a bar that was closed and ended up at a niteclub in town drinking 250,000 kip of Beerlao and stopping on the way home to have chili-noodle soup. Not a bad effort after being up 30 hours.
Feeling surprisingly refreshed, I sit here at Sala Impeng guesthouse the next morning, ion 30 degrees, sharing my breakfast with a gecko – enjoying the splendid peacefulness of Vientiane for a few days before reaching Luang Prabang.