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30 October 2011 / leggypeggy

Like a cowboy without a horse

The bus conductor makes himself comfy on a kid's chair in the aisle.

Yesterday, after almost three weeks, we were reunited with our truck.

We’d been without it for all of Vietnam and Cambodia and some of Thailand—ever since early October when we got dropped off at the Lao–Vietnam border (see

We weren’t ditched or anything horrible like that. And while I’m not sure of the exact rules and regulations—does it matter—the bottom-line was that the truck wasn’t allowed into certain places in Vietnam so, after he dropped us off, Will drove on to the Scania dealership/repair shop in Bangkok. The clutch had been playing up since the Himalayas and a few other things needed attention.

The reality is—an overland traveller without a truck is like a cowboy without a horse.

Not surprisingly, the absence of the truck has created a whole new trip dynamic for all of us.

We’ve had to haul most of our luggage along with us, but luckily not our tents and sleeping bags. Then there’s been the array of transport—from tuk-tuks and minivans to taxis and buses. Many journeys have been longer than expected, and some have had unexpected hiccups. We’ve had flat tyres, seats that are permanently reclined, seats that won’t recline, windows that won’t open, windows that won’t close and buses with pink curtains. Too many drivers (except those in tuk-tuks) have chosen 120kph as their preferred travelling speed.

A fleet of tuk-tuks ferry us to a hostel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

All in all, we were very glad to see the truck yesterday but, then again, it felt strange to be there too.

We have another six weeks of the trip, but only five or six more drives in the truck. WE have drives over the next two days and then spend almost a week on an island in southern Thailand. Our last drives will be out of Thailand and into Malaysia. The truck won’t go into Singapore, and will be shipped back to England instead. We’ll take a boat to Indonesia (50 hours or something like that) and then public transport. Our only flight will be Bali to Darwin at the end of November.

Then we finish off in a UK to OZ bus in Australia. Anyone got a horse?


Leave a Comment
  1. Derrick / Oct 30 2011 11:06 pm

    I guess seing the truck was like seeing an old mate again

    Nope, sorry no horse 😦 have to wait for Oz for them

    I think tuk tuk’s are great, not really sure about fitting a couple of people on it with bags, ruck sacks and god knows what else 🙂

    I think its Koh Samui that you wil end up at, not really much to do there (it is an island afterall) but I have been there a couple of times, went to the Muay Thai boxing school, (got a real good hiding from a 12 year old)

    Where are you staying there ? Hotel/hostel ? there are some pretty good resturants there, not badly priced either, I think there are a few Brit/Ossie bars there as well (watch out for ‘best mates’ flogging time shares)

    They only have 2 speeds in Thailand, flat out and stop, no matter where you are there

    Hope you got some good books or something to do on a 50 hour boat trip, I mean there is only so much time you can spend looking at water

    Where you staying when you get to Indonesia ?



    • leggypeggy / Nov 2 2011 11:41 am

      We are in Koh Samui, and I’ll use this down-time to add to the blog. We’re staying at White Sands, which is apparently the original. The bungalows are basic, but clean and comfy—good mozzie nets too.


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