The Great Southern Lao Bike Adventure - Part 2!

Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
Trip End Nov 26, 2008

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day three we rode to Attapeu along smooth tarmac rodes with hardly another vehicle in sight. Steep mountains covered in pristine jungle were either side of us with little villages of wooden houses on stilts dotted at the side of the road. In Attapeu we had an amazing dinner of Korean BBQ (I know we are in Lao!) but it was the traditionally cook your own food on your personal BBQ at the table jobby - the kinda thing the H & S officers in England would hate but seem to be enjoyed all over Asia with slightly different flavours. We headed back to our hotel and stopped at the local Wat (Buddhist Temple) to see what all the noise was about. Loads of people were walking around the Wat with the monks carrying candles, flowers and incense. Every so often everyone would break into a chant and the young boys took great delight at throwing large and small firecrackers at the girls. Nick was the centre of attention when he donated his fireworks to the local kids. It was the lunar festival, celbrating full moon and remebering the dead with prayers and offerings. A rather special thing to be a part of.
Day four, we left Nick, Lisa and Sean they went to look at an old bomb, we took the road back to Paksong. We wanted to take it slowly as the ride was supposed to be amazing. We weren't dissapointed. After about 40km of tarmac we stopped and picked up some dried meat, sticky rice and boiled eggs and took the dirt road up onto the Bolaven Plateau. It was beautiful, up onto the top of the mountains the view showed that the jungle just rolled on and on. We stopped at a waterfall for lunch - the meat was lovely (no adverse effects as well - bonus!!) and stopped again at another waterfall - supposed to be Laos highest but it wasnt as impressive as Tat Fan. It was boiling hot at this point and we stopped at a final waterfall - not very impressive but I have to mention the boy who came to take entrance money off us. he can't of been more than 10 years old and was sucking on a cheroot - I'm sure there was more than tabacco in it because he looked like he was off his head! he was in such a daze but smiled when we showed him the picture of himself - he actually looks quite normal in the photo. Don't know if you can make out the MASSIVE cut he has on his knee. We had seen 3 people in the last 3 hours and got on top of the Plateau to find little villages and a welcome cool breeze. This quickly got colder and less welcoming as the rain started. it was only drizzle but on the bike it was horrid! We began praying for tarmac as the dirt roads turned to mud. When the tarmac arrived we prayed for mud again! It was so badly pot holed - not just small pot holes huge ones that dotted the surface turning it to swiss cheese! We compared it to weaving down Oxford Street avoiding people and cars. It was really cold now and our thoughts turned to the other three who were two hours behind us - would they just hole up in their tent? it really wasn't pleasent riding! We finally got to Paksong and found the had a hot shower!! I honestly cant remember the last time we had hot water - we have showered, but it has been cold water (sometimes freezing!) but we were so greatful for hot water then! Nick, Lisa and Sean rode in a couple of hours later just as cold and wet as we were and we enjoyed much needed hot food before falling asleep at 9pm!
Today we rode back to Pakse, it was only 50km but the rain started as we finished up our breakfast of noodle soup. Luckily it stopped pretty quickly and the ride back was pretty pain free. We have been planning the rest of our Lao trip this afternoon....we are running out of time! Need to be in Bangkok to meet Becky, my brother Chris and now Sarah on 23 March. So much to do! More bikes, more waterfalls, tubing and the gibbon experience yet!! Moving to Central Lao tomorrow morning.
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tomsontravels on

woo hooooo
Go Becky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jacanie on

très belle région du bon thé et du bon café l'acceuil des gens sont timides
que de bons souvenirs
i am sorry but i am french is difficult for me the english

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