Awake to find we're at the border, but more worryingly to the smell of petrol, look at my feet and see that they and the floor of the coach is swimming in it...one of the plastic containers they filled up had leaked. Yuck. Anyway, eventually get our exit stamp (which the corrupt little buggers make you pay $1 for) and move on to get our Laos visa's processed. Whilst we're doing this, our onion-filled bus is being inspected by officials, but somehow manage to let it through. We were thinking that perhaps we were being used as an excuse for a tourist bus so that they wouldn't have to pay any import tax, as the half of the bus that had the onions in were hidden behind curtains. Something suspicious was going on but we were also being very paranoid!
We get through the border and as we're about to get on the bus, the driver is smoking a cigarette, and I'm like...what are you doing! There's petrol on the floor! I shoo him outside and then they come and clean the mess up!
So, all feeling a lot safer now, we drive another 9 hours to Vientiane and on the way we pick up and drop off randoms who are just waiting by the side of the road - god knows how they knew what time the bus was coming - but they bring on chickens, birds, you name it! Nuts, just nuts. But, we get there at about 5pm, alive, not robbed and i've never been so excited to arrive somewhere!
The scenery on the way down was just stunning so am hopeful that the hype about Laos will be true. The 3 of us check in to a triple room - a first - and as we've not eaten for 26 hours - we grab some food by the river, laugh about our journey over a beer laos and head for a good night's sleep in a bed!