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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by BcDano, Jul 19, 2012.
Amazing pics and update.. Safe travels..
Happy to be back riding again! YEAH!!!!
Dan Thanks so much! Hi from Thailand we head to Malaysia tomorrow!
It was forecast to pour rain all night, but there was a sky full of stars and the sun w as out in the morning. We planned to set off at 930 for the 184 km to Vang Vieng. We hoped to go the shorter way on the “new road” number 4, but the host here says it can be often closed and was for a month this summer.
We took the chance and went for it. The weather was good on the uphill side of the mountains, but as we climbed higher it got mistier and then was lightly raining.
We got to the summit and there was a long line of trucks parked to the right and s we rounded the corner we could see why the road can be closed at times. There is a 300 m section of muddy steep road and when we arrived a minivan was making another failed attempt to get up the hill. Dan went down to see how tricky it was and reported back that it was not too slippery for the downhill and we would be ok once the minivan backed down out of our way. There was an even bigger line of vehicles waiting to get up. It was wet and steep and muddy, but not slippery going down. Once we passed this there was another 2 sections of dirt and now mud of 200 m each to pass, but we did with no trouble.
Then the rain started in earnest and we pulled over for the over suits. We had gotten a bit wet, but we would have been soaked otherwise. We continued on down hill and out of the clouds and rain about 15 minutes later and we could pull over and get the suits off so we could dry out underneath.
The rest of the ride back down to the 13N was uneventful and then we had 57 km left to go south from Kasi.
Vang Vieng is a smaller, but very touristic town and mobbed with young kids. We stopped for some lunch and checked online for our options. We settled for a quiet inn off the main road with excellent parking. We managed to get some rest and then walked down the road to a local Bbq place for some grilled fresh fish and chicken. This is not really a very nice spot to be and Trevor does not recognize it at all from his good memory of his last visit.
Today the forecast is for rain and we have some time to kill anyway and so we will stay another day. Trevor will head south to Vientiane tomorrow and fly to Phenom Pen Cambodia to get our TVIP sorted and we will head north.
As predicted it poured, but only for an hour and the sun came our in time for us to have a small tour in a long boat up the river.
And then some s!
The reviews of that beer are not very good.
Beer Lao is not bad actually especially when very cold!
The team splits up temporarily today as Trevor and the Swede go south and WWR heads north-east. We are going 234 km north and then east to Phonsavan.
We initially had a 57 km back track to Kasi and then we continued north on the 13N.
This route is all curves and heads up into the clouds and mist over the mountain. At times it was a bit hairy with the wet road, sharp curves, and almost zero visibility. Luckily on the down side the road was dry and the curves continued.
We only stopped once for 30 min for a Laos noodle soup lunch and it still took 5 1/2 hours to get to our hotel.
The last 60 km we got some speed up and managed to get out of 3 rd gear. We had booked into a guest house located off the main road and not too far from the “plain of Jars” sites that are the attraction here. Dinner was treat as there is an Italian Chef here with a place 400 m from us and we had very nice red wine and very delicious pasta for dinner. There are very few tourists here and no backpackers.
There are a lot of reminders of how much this county was bombed.
Today the weather in much nicer and we rode the 10 km to the Plain of Jars Site 1 after our banana french toast.
At the site foreigners pay 15000 Kip to enter and 3000 Kip to park. The jars are on one of the most heavily bombed regions of the country.
We also did a bit of a ride around the city and found a nice local place for a noodle soup lunch (note more ditch weeds).
Dinner was some local food and a great passion fruit Margareta. Fingers crossed Trevor is at the ministry of transport in Phenom Pen today to try to get our authorization letter to enter Cambodia with the bikes. This will be a major problem for us if we can not get them this week.
Today we have no fixed plan it but to head south and west to be in striking distance to meet with Trevor and Orvar and hopefully pick up our Cambodian TVIP in 2 days time. The road today is again mostly curves for the first 120 km on the 1D and that took about 2 1/2 hours.
Laos by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
Laos-4 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
Laos-5 by Sara & Daniel Pedersen, on Flickr
We stopped for a Laos noodle soup about 1030. We love the Asian soups and the bowls of “ditch weeds” they always serve along side to add some flavors.
This is THE main road, but there is almost no traffic. Several times we thought the road might be closed as we had not seen another vehicle for over an hour. After “breakfast” the road is straighter and we made better time.
After 320 km we were just passed Na Hin (which has a lot of guest houses, but is not a nice place) and we stopped for fuel. There was a sign here for a resort near the Konglor cave in 45 km and so we decided to see how the road was (mostly paved).
We had though to come here when we were discussing what to do yesterday, but as it had rained and it is an in and out we did not care for a mud road as on these tires as it would be tragic. We were greeted warmly my the owner Vicki and settled into our little garden cabin for 15$. The noise from the Cicadas was amazing, but suddenly stopped after dark.