We’d decided to head back to the border early rather than pay for another night at the hotel and have to get up super early again. Our tuk tuk driver arranged for a taxi to take us that night. We made it just as they were getting ready to close and were cheered by all the workers as we slipped in just in time. The process was much quicker at 10:00 at night, aside from a little confusion as to why we had two re-entry stamps in our passports (we’d gotten one for this trip and one for a trip to Malaysia in a couple of weeks) we were stamped and processed and quickly sent on our way. Hoping to find a bus we were instead greeted by taxi drivers who told us all the buses were gone for the night. We’d anticipated maybe hanging out in the casinos there in the no-mans-land between the two countries, or taking a taxi to Bangkok and then finding a bus there but we ended up convincing one of the drivers to take us the full 500+km back to Udon for a little more than we would have paid for all the buses. The promise of a direct trip was too much to hope for but somehow it all worked out. So instead of getting home late Sunday night after another 12 hours and multiple bus rides we pulled up about 5 am Sunday morning after just 6 hours. It would have been perfect if I’d been able to get a bit of sleep on the drive, but as it was I crawled into bed and slept until 11 and had the whole day to myself instead of sharing it with strangers on a bus. We couldn’t have planned it much better if we’d tried!
It was a quick weekend, that felt long because of the hours we kept and all the travel that we did. It made me realize just how old I am. I don’t bounce back from that as easily as I would have in my 20s. *sigh* it had to happen sometime I suppose.