Today we needed a bit of a rest so we rode a few less kilometres than the last few days.
We only rode about 40 k's, but part of this was because we lost each other going through the city of Udon Thani.
I didn't realise that Shanna had been stopped by a Tuk Tuk and kept on riding. When I realised (maybe 200metres away) I stopped to wait for her. Ten minutes later and still no Shanna. Then I started to get a little worried so I began riding back down the street (we made no turns through the city) towards her to see what had happened, but no Shanna.
After riding up and down the street a few times, trying to ask people on the side of the street if they'd seen a falung girl go past on a bicycle and waiting in my original position for a few minutes getting more and more concerned, I decided to ride past were I had originally stopped to wait for her.
Five hundred metres later and still no Shanna, What the?!
At this point I had no idea what to do as we only have one mobile phone and I don't know the number of it (Thai number, not as easy to work out as you might think).
So I kept riding. Fast. And then slow. And then I would stop to at bus stop's or shops to ask if they'd seen her. (Thai people, being so nice an' all will tell you anything so it can be hard to establish if they know what you are talking about. But, I did get some encouraging signs that they had seen her.)
So I kept riding, but still no Shanna.
By this stage I was getting pretty damn worried (and so was Shanna). And I was starting to think that it was extremely unlikely that she had continued on riding without me for so long.
So I decided to turn back and do another recky (as cyclists call it).
But just as I turned to head in the opposite direction two women on a motorbike stopped and grabbed me, pointing me back in the opposite direction ( were I had been headed only moments ago) towards Nong Khai. They did a short charade and I understood immediately.
Another kilometre down the road and I saw a thing ahead in distance that looked like a bicycle with bags on it, I was sure, it must be I mused to myself. A second later and the relief flooded over me, it was Shanna and she was talking, tears stained on her face, to two local Thai girls who appeared no have no idea what she was saying.
Being the impatient bastard I am I was angry (why did you keep on riding without me...blah, blah....), and exhausted. And after I'd had time to buy a drink, and get a little frustration out (sorry Shanny) I, should say we, relieved but still amazed that we could have ridden past each other on the same road, hugged, made up and headed off into the late afternoon.
Just as it was getting dark we found a nice little hotel and then the thunderstorms began. A moment later and the power was off- no power, no fan, no windows, hot as hell!
So I went down to the lobby to buy a drink. Apparently they couldn't take my money because the computer was down (strange for Thailand...!) so I went up to bed.
9 pm comes along and despite the heat and the sweat pouring from our bodies we've both fallen sound asleep when all of a sudden there is a knock at the door. It seems he now wants the money, so I go and get my wallet. But by the time I get back to the door he's gone. I'm half asleep so I fall back on the bed and within a minute or so I'm once again unconscious.
Ten pm comes around and another loud bang on the door wakes us both up. Another one of the hotel staff is at the door, this time a woman, demading payment. I go get the money, but she has no change, so I close the door and say I will get it in the morning.
This time it took us a little longer to get to sleep.
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia