Drive Around The World (Australia)

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Archive for February, 2009

Tha Thom, Laos – Dom Kralor, Cambodia, Day 299 – 306, 5 – 13 February, 2009

Tha Thom, Laos – Dom Kralor, Cambodia

Day 299 – 306

5 – 13 February, 2009

1,820km

Total: 30,103km

Soundtrack:

‘(What’s The Story) Morning Glory?’ – Oasis

‘Saturday Night Fish Fry’ – Louis Jordan

‘Border Crossing’ – David Olney

‘The Great Big No’ – The Lemonheads

‘No No Song’ – Ringo Starr

‘Idiot Grin’ – Do-Re-Mi

‘Tears Of Rage’ – Bob Dylan

‘The Disappointed’ – XTC
‘They Made A Mistake’ – Afrika Bambaata

‘Nature of Power’ – Vince Jones

 

DB: Sandy was met at the open front door of the dusty Tha Thom Guesthouse by a girl about the same age as our Raffy. She spoke no English and our Lao was rusty, to say the least, but with pointing, hand actions and the ever-present smiles that seem to be an innate part of Lao culture we were provided with a small, dark room.

The sun was now below the horizon of forest and houses, but flicking light switches didn’t improve the situation. The girl shook her head and instead provided us with a few candles that had been melted on to the tops of empty soft drink cans. Upon further investigation it seemed that the entire town was in fact wired for electricity and all the houses had new retro-fitted cables and lights, but none of it worked, save for the few fluorescent globes hooked up to car batteries. We remain unsure if all the wiring in Tha Thom was completed before electricity actually got there, if this was a regular power outage, or if someone just forgot to pay the bill.

In the fading light we went for a stroll along the track, past small restaurants and homes with children playing joyfully out the front and animals rummaging for the last morsels of food before heading home to bed. We were parched and settled in at a restaurant for lemonade and Beerlao which, in one local guidebook we found, was recommended above local drinking water and seemed to be consumed on a similar scale. Very quickly we became a local spectacle, like the circus had rolled into town. People came and watched us from the street while children played games and performed tricks for our amusement. Raffy and Maddy began a game of football with an old plastic bottle and, in turn, made the Lao kids laugh. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ayutthaya, Thailand – Tha Thom, Laos, Day 286 – 298, 20 January – 4 February, 2009

Ayutthaya, Thailand – Tha Thom, Laos

Day 286 – 298

20 January – 4 February, 2009

1,788km

Total: 28,283km

Soundtrack:

‘Is It Just Me?’ – Wendy Harmer and Angela Catterns

‘Bombtrack’ – Rage Against the Machine

‘Stay On Track’ – Deborah Conway

‘The Dirty Boogie’ – Brian Setzer

‘Little Time Bomb’ – Billy Bragg

‘US Forces’ – Midnight Oil

‘Theme from the Dirtbombs’ – The Dirtbombs

‘Many Rivers to Cross’ – Jimmy Cliff

‘Diesel and Dust’ – Midnight Oil

‘Three-Five-Zero-Zero’ – Hair

‘Purple Haze’ – Jimi Hendrix

SK: It was with big hugs and sadness that we separated from our friends. We had enjoyed a fabulous beach holiday together; a hiatus in both our trips that nourished us.

We retraced our route north up the number 4 highway, headed for the former royal city of Ayutthaya. After a roadside stop for fishball soup for lunch, we negotiated our way around Bangkok (except for one glitch that had us heading back into, rather than away from, the city), and soon left the built up world behind.

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(Pic: Obama Fever is everywhere! Ayutthaya, Thailand)

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Varanasi, India – Cha-am, Thailand, Day 267-286, 1-20 January, 2009

Varanasi, India – Cha-am, Thailand

Day 267-286

1-20 January, 2009

Soundtrack:

‘Take Me To The River’ – Al Green

‘Jump in the River’ – Sinead O’Connor

‘Night Train’ – James Brown

‘If It Takes All Night’ – Roxy Music

‘Night and Day’ – Cole Porter

‘Day and Night’ – Nina Simone

‘An Inch An Hour’ – Tragically Hip

‘Today, Tomorrow and Forever’ – Patsy Cline

‘All Day Sucker’ – Stevie Wonder

‘What A Day That Was’ – Talking Heads

‘A Place Called Home’ – PJ Harvey

‘Happy Home’ – Maurice Frawley and the Working Class Ringoes

‘Barflies at the Beach’ – Royal Crown Review

‘Sycamore and Sand’ – Art of Fighting

(Apologies for the tardiness due to a recent lack of internet access)

DB: We were awake early, if not a tad grumpy, for our dawn boat ride on the Ganges. We have read and heard much about this fabled river and were keen to take it all in, hook, line and stinker.

Again, the car ride from our hotel was akin to the Blind Dukes of Hazard on speed with a death wish, but finally we were introduced to our boatman and led through a madding throng of drivers, touts, stall holders, hangers around, and tourists. Then, boarding the boat in the half light, we began to slowly grasp the magnitude of the holy city of Varanasi, its relationship with the waterway and the confluence of past and present, sentient being and spirit, myth and reality.

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(Pic: The Ganges, Varanasi, India)

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