Wed 16 July
We met at 9am this morning and, in the absence of food at our hotel, walked the 70m to the nearby hotel. Our usual breakfast of omelette was served (two fried eggs, dry bread, and soy sauce) whilst plans were made for the day. A bit of admin was in order including washing, blog writing, and sending of emails.
An upbeat call from Ian told us that Chien now had the paperwork complete and should be travelling up to meet us on the train tonight. All being well, we’ll be off tomorrow, driving the vehicles ourselves with a police escort. I’ll believe it when I see it!
We wandered across the Red River to the other side of the town and managed to find a hotel with air con, food and wireless interest. The internet was the most useful thing though as the food could have been a lot better.
A couple of hours were spent here before the team split and went various ways to find something to keep themselves amused. Pete, Charlie and Mark went off to find a taxi to take them to a local waterfall. I had some work I had to do, and wanted to be around in case there were any requests from Ian with regard to the vehicles. The afternoon was therefore spent between doing some work, sorting out photos, and reading.
In the evening, we ate at the same hotel where we have breakfast and then met up with the others who’d been to the waterfall.
There was no sign of Chien this evening and I was kept busy with a live radio interview with BBC Hereford and Worcester about the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which must have sounded a bit odd with the sound of crickets, frogs and lorry horns in the background. Quite surreal.
Today has been very frustrating as the clock continues to tick away and we still haven’t started our drive. We remain optimistic but there’s only so much you can do in a town like this and I think tempers could fray if we’re not out of here tomorrow or the next day at the latest. Fortunately I’ve got plenty of experience of being stuck ‘in transit’ from one place to another in my former military career, and this feels exactly the same. Sat around with your bags packed, reading a dog-eared book or playing cards, paradoxically trying to while away the precious time.