Regretting an adventure well before one has even arrived at a destination is not generally a very good sign. But here I was, fifty miles still left before I was to reach Del Rio west of San Antonio and the sun was starting to make its presence known. The delayed hangover from the night before had finally kicked in, I was hungry and the coffee was not making any headway in clearing the cobwebs in my head. This was going to be fun day.
From /'wândur`lust/: Devils River Dash
America welcomed a Vietnamese communist leader for the first time yesterday at the start of a visit to seal an unparalleled series of military and intelligence deals between the former enemies.
Prime minister Phan Van Khai, once an official in the administration of the Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, will get the red carpet treatment throughout his visit.
Arriving at the head of a 200-strong delegation, the 72-year-old Vietnamese leader will sign a series of deals underlining the extraordinary turnaround in relations.
Vietnam will agree to despatch officers for training in the United States, to swap intelligence information and to exchange intelligence officers at the embassies in Hanoi and Washington to liaise on common threats.
The agreement is all the more notable coming on the 30th anniversary of North Vietnam's defeat of America and its South Vietnamese allies. The war cost America 58,000 lives and Vietnam more than a million.
But the administration of President George W Bush is increasingly concerned about the threat from an increasingly powerful China, one of Vietnam's oldest adversaries.
Tomorrow the Vietnamese leader will meet Mr Bush in the White House and will later see Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary.