Days 643-644: Back in ‘Nam

05.10.10-06.10.10: I arrived in the Chinese town of Nanning exceptionally early in the morning and looked about for transport to the border.  I honestly can’t remember how I got there, but I did and was one of the first people that day to cross into Vietnam.  I’ve got to say: nice border post: it seems to double as a national park.  After being stamped out of China and being stamped into my ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THIRD country (WOO!) I took a free ride on one of the large electric golf buggies that take you to the nearby minibus park. I arrived just after nine and was gutted to be told that the next minibus for Hanoi wasn’t going to leave for another hour.  That was until I saw that the nine o’clock minibus hadn’t made it out of the bus park yet. Arms flailing and…

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Days M227-228: Holy Macau!

Fri 11.05.12 – Sat 12.05.12: This would be my last full day in Fragrant Harbour, or as you know it, Hong Kong. It started late (as last night had ended), but before long I was up an’ at ’em, collecting my Chinese visa and heading over to the Queen Vic for a bite to eat. I won a free meal at the Queen Victoria for coming second at the quiz on Monday, and if there’s something I’ve learnt in life it’s that you should never pass up the opportunity for a free lunch. Therefore I dropped by, and although Stuart wasn’t there, helped myself to a generous steak. See kids? Being a smart-arse sometimes pays dividends. I don’t see you getting a free lunch for being good at football, fellow schoolmates of mine quite possibly picked before me ARE YOU READING THIS? The rest of the…

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Day M229: The New Arrival

Sun 13.05.12: Over the last three and a half years I’ve missed a shed load of my friend’s life events that photos on Facebook just can’t compensate for. The weddings of Si and Lol, Michelle and Daniel, Brian and Laura, Lucy and Tim, Scott and Louise, Stan and Helen (for which I was supposed to be Best Man)*. I’m currently racing home to Liverpool so I don’t miss three more weddings – Dino and Ruth, Hugh and Gemma and Danny and Penny – which are due to take place at the end of August/beginning of September. I’ve also missed a load of births and also (on a sadder note) a number of funerals. That being the case, it was several shades of awesome today to be the first of Chris and Debbie’s mates from Liverpool to meet baby Talia, the Scouse Clan’s newest arrival. I even…

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Day M230: On The Road Again

Mon 14.05.12: Apart from that brief unpleasantness in Australia, travelling up and down to Townsville on one of those wretched overpriced Aussie coaches, this ‘phase’ of The Odyssey Expedition has seen little land travel. Much of the past eight months have been spent at sea and I had almost forgotten what it was like to have to hold in a poo for days until a decent karzee presented itself. I would quickly have to relearn that lesson if I was to press on with this insane little quest. Last night, again intending to go to sleep before the dawn chorus for once in my life, I found myself quite embroiled in the football. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not the biggest of sports fans, but I do like to take a passing interest – and big important matches are always of interest to…

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Day M231: Hang on, I’m Kunming

Tue 15.05.12: 8am came and went. It was by this stage I realised that when the nice lady at the Guangzhou bus station has said the bus took 14 hours, she meant to say it arrived at 14 hours. As in 2pm the next day. This did not bode well for my race down to Kuala Lumpur for the Gold Star Line ship leaving on Friday. Now it would be afternoon by the time I arrived in Kunming, at best. Oh why didn’t I leave Guangzhou on Sunday as I had intended?! Buggeration on stilts. So it was after two in the afternoon before the bus rolled into to Kunming East Bus Station. I went inside and was told that the bus for Laos left from the Southern Bus Station – which makes sense, since Laos is pretty much due south of here. Having bus stations…

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