Oct. 1 – We are off to Indochina in a few days for three weeks. We have talked about this trip for years and the time has finally arrived.
All of the trips that you have read about on this site have been done over the past years except for Africa and Canada. I have had to go back through our paper work and reconstruct most of them or use my memory to put the stories in print.
For Africa and Canada, I sent emails to myself, daily, as we traveled. I will be doing this as we travel through Indochina. I am learning, little by little, how to work the computer and send emails. Don’t give me a hard time.
We are off to India over Christmas. We will be going into the heart of India this time. It is a large country and more than one visit is needed to understand and appreciate it and its many interesting people and its cultures. This goes for most countries regardless of size, obviously.
I will be putting up the stories of our Indian adventure after we return. We also will be going the Stans in the fall. That should be very interesting. There is so much history there as well.
Where are you off to? Have a safe trip on your adventure, wherever it takes you.
Day 1 – Oct 18,19, and 20th – After 20 hours of flying, we are sitting in Vientiane. The city looks like most third world cities with power lines running amok above us as we walked the city.
We lost a day due to traveling so it was Saturday when we finally landed. I met an interesting fellow on the plane named Ray. He was off to see his girl friend in Manilla.
He left us in Singapore, missing an ear. I might have talked it off, but it was a clean cut and bled just a little. I gave him a bandaid from my collection that I carry for just this type of situation. He was an IT guy, of course. Everyone is an IT guy or gal these days.
My wife and I walked to a temple that we had seen coming to our hotel and watched a young man work at painting the details of a column for a while.
There were many stupas there, marking the remains of the many monks and benefactors I presume. Their pictures were on the stupas to be remembered by. The invention of the crosswalk has not yet arrived here. Life for the pedestrian is difficult here at best. Heaven only knows what it must be like during the work week.
We walked a few blocks over to the Mekong River as the night market was being set up. My wife took many pictures of the young children and the surroundings, as always. She is a very good photographer as you can see by the covers of my novels and all of these photos.
The block buildings look disturbingly unsafe while being constructed, but they are beautiful when they are finished.
The bamboo scaffolding would scare the heck out of anyone in the building trades but I have been assured that they are quite safe. I noticed them right away and was brought back to the scaffoldings that I had worked on during my long working life. “Not bad, guys! Good job! Smart using small twigs and branches cobbled together to work ten or twelve stories up above the ground. It brings back fond memories.
We had an interesting time going through customs. We thought we were at our destination and went through customs at the wrong airport.
They let us through, eventually, but it was the domestic airport, one stop before the international one. Our tickets didn’t mention this stop, so we thought that we were in Vientiane. We were not.
We thought we had everything squared away until we were found by our leader and taken to another part of the airport. When we reached Vientaine, there was a slight problem. We had checked into the country at the wrong airport. Several moments passed as the men in charge called their wives to get things straightened out. We all had a good laugh as they sent these crazy people on their way.
The country was very green as we flew over it. The greenest of any, I thought. We are here a day early, as usual. We meet our group tomorrow. We are traveling with an English Company, so anything is possible. Wish us luck with that. Who knows what we might discover when we meet our new traveling companions. Perhaps an Earl or a Duchess might be among them.
Travelers and tourists are usually pleasant and forgiving. Not always I’m sure, but we try to be. We are representatives of our country out in the world and try to make a good impression where ever we go. We hope our companions will be the same.
Things seldom go off without a hitch on our trips. We shall see what happens. That is half the fun of traveling, isn’t it?