Today was certainly the hardest ride of our trip, the road from Tha Khaek cut through jungle was as you would expect in this part of the world, full of potholes and very dusty but after some 3 hours we emerged onto a road that was in the process of being tarmaced and riding became straightforward. We stopped off on the way to have a look at the lake which is being created thanks to the building of Laos largest dam, the Nam Thuen 2, which was some view.
We thought it would be a good idea to spend the night in a small village of Mahaxai which my book and Ilona's excellent map indicated there would be a guesthouse. Alas we lucked out, there was nowhere to stay in sight but the trip around the countryside on the dirt tracks still made the diversion a worthwhile one. Not too disenchanted we headed off to book ourselves into some rooms at the town of Tha Khaek.