Day of Motorbiking round Van Vieng Karsks

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Flag of Lao Peoples Dem Rep  ,
Friday, July 29, 2011

19:10 It was our final day together as a group of four, we had planned to all go motorbiking, however Jane and Paul were a bit hungover so decided not to, so me and Angela went by ourselves.
We hired a couple of bikes and set off on what the Lonely Planet suggested was it's West Vang Vieng Loop. The road was, rough, muddy, stony, full of holes and gullys and was generally a difficult and tiring ride. We also had to cross a couple of streams, really! It also rained most of the day, but riding along right up with the limestone karsks and next to the paddy fields was really pretty.
We kept going further and further west driving on ever more difficult roads, with more and more full on streams to cross, rarely leaving second gear and running out of fuel. At 4pm I made the decision to turn back as there was still along way to go and we didn't know what else lay in store, or how long it would take. So we returned.
On the way back, whilst it was raining again we came across a big muddy puddle. I approached it wrong and started down the left hand side next to the grassy verge and stopped. The bike started to overbalance to the left and I went to put my foot out. Unfortunately, my foot got stuck on a bit of bamboo, and so I couldn't put it out, the bike kept going over, and so did I, landing heavily on my left arm which did something to my shoulder which sounded like a crack. 
I lay there, not moving because my shoulder was really hurting, the bike lay on top of me, still on, leaking petrol and lying on my leg. I waited for what normally happens which is everyone else leaps off and rescues me. I waited quite a few moments in fact. It seemed ages before Angela got to me and I asked her to pick up the bike and turn it off before I could decide if I'd done something serious to my shoulder or not. Once the bike was off me, I  moved pretty slowly, and realised I hadn't done anything awful so picked myself up, covered in mud, holding my arm. A couple of other people had stopped which was nice and helped me. 
I got back on the bike and tried to put it into gear. Nope...not happening. The bike was broken! A local guy had also stopped and helped move the bike onto a less muddy bit of the verge and started looking at the bike to see what was wrong. It wasn't long before he'd got a spanner and screwdriver out of the back of his bike and was dismantling the chain cover and found that the chain had come off the gear. He spent about half an hour trying to get the bike fixed whilst it poured with rain and the lightning struck around us. he did it though, and I gave him 50000 kip at which he looked surprised. We gently rode back in the storm, soaking wet and was pleased to get back to the bungalow for a hot shower and dry clothes. 

We returned the bikes and found Jane and Paul for dinner at the Elephant Crossing Restaurant where comedy moment....
Waiter: "Would you like peanuts or cashews?"
Us: "Cashews"
Waiter: "We don't have cashews"
Us: "Um, I'll have peanuts then, why did you give us a choice!"

It was a very tasty meal and the sunset was an amazing selection of pinks, blues, yellows and reds. 

Best: Getting back to a hot shower and dry clothes
Worst: Falling over on the bike and hurting myself
Beautiful: All the scenery that day and the sunset
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greekcypriot on

Zoe, today I got your first entry. Thankfully you did not get hurt much.
Beautiful phots and a nice entry. Keep well.

Cat Flanagan on

Wow! I've read through loads of your blogs and it looks like you've been having an amazing time on your travels! I'm glad you are. I shall keep following you until you return. Can't wait to see you again.
Cat xx

Pam Wight on

Hi Zoe
Oh Zoe my heart went Bump!!!!! Well at least another escapade & it all ended well for you & the bike & you met your pals once more.
Stay in touch,please. We really appreciate hearing from you.

Love & Hugs

Pam& Alan

your Russian travel partner Steve!! on

Zoe!! Although I am happy to see you not seriously hurt.... I am laughing because I expect nothing else from your adventures.... There is something about Asia, Scooters and the tattoos/scars both leave!!
There is a phrase a lot of Aussies know (usually from their personal experiences) called the "Thailand Tattoo" It is a usually combination of Alcohol, Asia, Scooters and a false sense of capabilities (or the Crusty Demon factor!!) You only really need two elements for a tattoo, but if there three or maybe all...... well sit right here girl have we got a deal for you!! Free Tattoos with every scooter hire!!
Although you are not in Thailand, you are somewhere in Asia, you were on a scooter, you may or may not have had alcohol in your system and maybe, just maybe, there was a small crusty demon factor lurking.
I did laugh at the cashews comment too..... remind you of trying to order food in Beijing???!!! Ha ha..... Stay safe girl!!

sheila on

Hi Zoe,
Glad you weren't hurt. Michael and I have hired bikes a few
times and ALWAYS had some mishap,/accident/incident with the owner about damage etc. Seems to be par for the course.
Glad you are still smiling and having a good time.
Lol x

Sanj on

Fantastic, Awesome and're soooo lucky! How wonderful that you're seeing the world in such detail! Brilliant - keep the blog updated!

Love Sanj xxxx

diver79 on

Loving the blog! So jealous!!! Where to next?

zoebuck on

I already have one of these bike tattoos...I got it when I was 14 in spain, and still have quite a large round scar on my right calf to this day, so I've already learnt my lesson on never ever getting off the right of the bike. thankfully I fell off to the left on this occasion :D
Lots of places next....Thailand here I come (after a few more stops in Laos!)

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