Sunday, November 29, 2009

12 hours on the road

The Cambodian squad get together for a group photo outside their hotel this morning
Okay I've calmed done now, after a meal at the Kop Chai Deu restaurant, and am back on the lobby internet at my guesthouse, the Mali Namphu, which has a good reputation, but crap in-room internet. I'll just briefly mention our 12 hours on the road today, after we left our Pakse hotel at 7am this morning and woolfed down a breakfast before we were back on the road, with a police car in front, horns blaring and lights flashing, and an army carrier in the back, with heavily armed troops including a machine-gun mounted on the back of their vehicle. The security has been very tight since we entered Laos and the organization, whilst a bit chaotic, has been pretty thorough. To ensure we made good time we had a packed lunch on board though the number of toilet breaks we took probably negated the saving gained by not stopping for lunch. More details in another more detailed post. We arrived at the SEA Games Village at 7pm, where the players and coaching staff lined up to be welcomed in by a band and a very loud public address system and I got a lift into Vientiane to my guesthouse. I haven't got my press accreditation yet, fingers crossed that goes smoothly in the morning. The team will train twice tomorrow and if I get my pass, I'll get out to the training venues to see how they shape up after their 2 days cramped up on a bus. Obviously not an ideal way to travel such a long disatnce but at least the players have a few days to recover before they face Thailand on the 4th.
The entrance to the SEA Games Athletes Village, just before the band struck up to welcome the Cambodian team

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ANDY why the heavily-armed escort? Isn't Laos a peaceful country these days? All the best - Yara

December 1, 2009 at 1:43 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

The Laos authorities are not taking any chances, which is why the security is tight. Also its a former communist country and so they have a big military presence anyway, and it gives them something to do. Every second person seems to be wearing a military-style uniform or a green SEA Games sports top.
But yes I would say Laos is a VERY peaceful country.

December 1, 2009 at 9:47 AM  

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