The meeting the next day was held at the Scandinavian Bakery at the fountain which always does a good breakfast. It went for a few hours but I got back in time to relax my way through packing up, having a shower and checking out.
Getting out of Laos was a breeze this time but there were big crowds on the Thai side so it was well after noon by the time I was stamped into Thailand and on my way.
I had no plans on which way to go and when to try and get home by so half way to Udon Thani I pulled over and looked for a map which as luck would have it was discovered in the back seat pocket.
The only thing I really wanted to do was travel a different way home from last year. With that in mind I thought I would bypass the large city of Udon Thani and cut through the back roads and head towards Sakon Nakhon. From there I continued south east to Mukdahan. It was a little after 5pm by the time I arrived and as I had a few things I needed to do in Ubon thought I would pull up stumps there instead of doing the extra two hours to Ubon.
I was suffering from hayfever this day so that plus the driving meant I was a bit of a wreck by the time I arrived. I thought about staying and eating at my friends Dons fabulous place but just wasn’t up to having company so jumped on trip advisor and found a highly recommend hotel near the river for 500 baht ($17). The GPS led me to the Submukda Grand Hotel with just enough time to spare to check in and take a walk down to the river, pick up some take away and return to my room. Now I am not sure what drugs these people were on that recommended this place so highly but I will talk about that in the upcoming hotel review.
The next morning I was on the road early heading south for Ubon Ratchathani. My first stop was Peppers for a real coffee or two and to pick up some parcels that I had organised to be sent their previously. While there I ran into my friend Franco from Spagos restaurant so it was great to catch up with him and John for an hour or so.
From there I went to a stationary/craft store that is next door to the SK Mall to stock up on school supplies. Late last year I decided that I would home school my two kids so instead of bringing all my school gear from Australia over I figured it would be easier to buy it all here and set up a ‘class room’ in the village. For future trips this will make it real easy to continue their schooling no matter what country we are in.
The shop was great and I found most of what I wanted for between 1/5th to 1/10 of the price back in my home town in Australia. From there it was off to Tesco for a big food shop before finally heading out to the village.
The kids knew I was coming and were excitedly waiting for me and ran into my arms as soon as i got out of the car. There is no better feeling then that let me tell you.
It was also a good feeling seeing the work that Seerung had already started to organise on the house and garden and a relief to see that the furniture that we choose looked amazing and fitted perfectly. I am currently typing this blog sitting out on my balcony watching the sun rise and village life slip into gear for the day. Lots more village blogs to catch up since I have been back so check back soon!