For some reason we expected the crossing from Cambodia to Laos to be just as trying as the last one, and so rolled up to the border with a little bit of fear, a little bit of adrenaline, and our James Bond soundtrack on full pelt (we always listen to James Bond on border crossing days).

Naturally, as a 'developing' border crossing, there were cows grazing near the building site, chickens scratching around the boom gate and the customs guy was asleep in the hammock. We accidentally woke him up and thought we were done for, but he just pointed us into the temporary cubicle marked quarantine, where the big-wig was waiting, stamp in hand. We took our shoes off and wandered in. As Joe has taught me, say nothing unless you're spoken to, we just let him flick through the pages, stamp, sign and hand back. Astonished at how simple it was, we walked to the next temporary cubicle for our passports, and within ten minutes, the boom gate was raised, and we drove through to the next farmyard, I mean border, in Laos.

It was scorching hot, and I'd had my window down. In my anxiousness to get things done, I'd left the car to go and get our passports sorted.

We were filling out our forms when one of the uniformed guards came over looking very sombre. 'DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE TO DRIVE IN LAOS?????' He bellowed, with a tone of impending doom.

'Not yet' we both rushed to answer. He signalled to follow. Seems he had a car insurance salesperson hat too.

As the man was collecting our 'Stamp Fees' (that's right, they charge you to 'stamp' the passport, as well as for your visa) it started to rain. I did a bit of backwards forwards dance whilst trying to decide whether to run back to the car and wind up my window or stay with the man who had our passports. I chose the later, just as the heavens opened up, and returned to the car with a small lake where my seat was. Tis the rainy season after all.

Moments later, we were driving down the road to get the Carnet sorted, already in Laos. We interupted luncheon and trailed past some barking dogs to find the Carnet stamper, who knew exactly what to do, and no more than 30 mins later, we were driving north once more, in country number seven! If only they were all that easy!