We’re still in the border town Mae Sot. Our plans to leave after a couple nights were put on hold when Friedel’s ear infection refused to clear up (it’s been over two weeks now – don’t put a cotton bud in your ear, we know that now!) and we got some bad news about our boat to Seattle. Apparently there was a mistake with the cargo company in Germany that runs the boat and they confirmed a cabin for us when there actually wasn’t one. The ship we thought we were taking is full and we’re not on it. Darn!
That threw our perfectly formed plans into a bit of chaos so between runs to the hospital for more antibiotics we tried to figure out ‘Option B’ for leaving New Zealand. No other ships go to the west coast of North America so unless there’s a cancellation it looks like we’ll just get a flight to one of the big cities, most likely San Francisco or Los Angeles.
It’s disappointing but not all bad. We’ll save a fair bit of money over the cost of taking the ship and we’ll get a bit more time to explore a beautiful part of America. Whatever lies ahead, we’re happy to take it as it comes and have a great time.
Of course we’ve done a bit of walking around Mae Sot in this time. We discovered a great Canadian restaurant of all things here, run by a guy from Toronto who makes the best burgers we’ve ever tasted! He also has a large menu filled with things like bagels, cheddar cheese, back bacon and other delights we haven’t eaten in a long time. It’s safe to say we’ve been his most loyal customers the past few days.
We also rode down to the border with Myanmar. It was a very bizarre sight to see the ‘Friendship Bridge’ between the two countries with its official checkpoints and then locals crossing the river that runs beneath the bridge on inner tubes. As many as six people pile onto one inner tube, one fellow pedals and a few minutes later they emerge on the other side. Several armed guards look on and no one seems too bothered about the whole spectacle. In most other countries you’d probably be shot or arrested if you tried crossing this way and we haven’t yet figured out why the authorities permit it.
Now we’ve been in Mae Sot for four days and the ear infection is finally clearing up so we’ll be on our way tomorrow. Our destination is Kanchanaburi, just west of Bangkok and about a week away.