Thursday Feb 14 On our bikes at last…45ks
After spending an hour trying to find a bookstore to buy a Laos guide book (unsuccessfully) we headed out of town around 10am. 8 ks along, we diverted to Tad Sae waterfalls for lunch and then enjoyed an hour climbing in the cool jungle up the waterfall. Not a lot of water as it is the dry season but we could imagine how impressive it would be in the rainy season. Back onto the main road around 1pm, with the heat full on! Now the hills got serious!!
And the heat was stifling, tar was melted on the road. We stopped for a quick hello to Catherine and Dimitri from Belgium riding into Luang Prabang, and about an hour later met another couple on a tandem, they too from Belgium. They told us what to expect of the huge hills ahead of us….oh well, at least the scenery is motivating and we only need a little space to camp when we get exhausted. The road was very busy with heavy trucks, scooters, and many Chinese cars, of which 6 or more would go speeding by in convoy, and they liked to toot their horns! ( See the photos for scenery along the way, wish we had taken more, but you don’t want stop when grinding slowly uphill). About 5pm and only 1 km from the top of the 14km hill we saw a small house ( she sold beer, yeah!!) on a grassed area at the side of the road. Luckily we were allowed to camp. Night comes at 6.30pm and we like to be setting up camp by 5. The 2 little boys and 2 girls were very shy at first, observing us from their doorway but gradually they got closer and were running and squealing around the tent. The eldest boy, about 4 yrs old got quite bold and tried some of Pete’s noodles! He then ran inside and we heard his excitement, telling his family. We were ready for sleep at 7pm!