Monday, January 10, 2011

Home run to Pakse

35km! That was all the distance to Pakse which made for our grand finale on our Bolaven Waterfalls adventure ride. After a breakfast of disappointingly lukewarm rice porridge at the resort's restaurant, we took a group pic before making our way back to Route 20.

The 2km downhills we enjoyed yesterday demanded payback. One part was so steep that a tour coach actually stalled halfway and had to reverse to gain back momentum for another attempt.

Once out to the main road, it was a slight uphill all the way to Banana Junction so plain sailing it was not. Celia did very well on the Bike Friday Expedition in being able to climb ALL the slopes without pushing thanks to its very low gearing. Knowing that the climbing will eventually end at 21km marker kept us going and soon, the big sign boards and numerous fruit stalls appeared.

Cold drinks and a huge watermelon (US$1.20) refreshed us. Disgustingly, it did not help that beside our drink shop was the local butcher. Seeing how a black pig got cut up into so many different pieces with blood everywhere will make anyone a vegetarian.

Setting off the last 21km downhill was a breeze and the familiar sights of 5 days ago passing quickly before our eyes told us that the home run was ending. We arrived before noon and aimed for Delta cafe which unfortunately was closed for a function. No worries as there were enough choices at Pakse and we ended up at Xuan Mai Restaurant that served delicious Vietnamese and Laotian fare.

We checked into Sang Aroun Hotel again and the staff immediately recognised these four oddball cyclists. After a clean up, we proceeded for a well-earned massage, feeling very pleased with ourselves.

8000 kips = US$1

The Bolaven Plateau was conquered, all 230km! Sharing such great times with great friends are priceless. Thank you so much Cil, Mike and Wei. Though the trip is over, the memories we share in traversing this beautiful country on small wheels will always stay with us, forever.

To all the readers of LTF, I hope you enjoyed sharing the Laos Waterfall trip with us online wherever you are. Grateful for your support and do ride safe!

Snowy - Tin Tin's adventurous dog.
A great mascot for bicycle touring!
This belongs to a little Australian girl I met at Delta Cafe,
Pakse who allowed me to take a pic of her Xmas present.


Mike said...

Ahhh... Nostalgic looking at the pictures & reading your blog Al.

Already dreaming wistfully of another adventure.

Thank you for organising the trip and thank you, Al, Cilia & Wei for the company.
It was great fun!

omegaforest said...

Reading all the Laos post makes me want to cycle here. Did you have a route map online?

Taiwoon said...

Go go indiana Al Jones! well done guys!where next?

Oldyonfoldy said...

I followed a very outdated LP Cycle guide version 2001. The book is in Perth and will post the map when I get back.

Next adventure ride, umm. Maybe to ride the Mighty Mekong mid year for a 10 day trip.

Thanks all for your kind words. Glad it inspired somewhat. Bike touring is just so so fun!

João said...

nice photos and post... i like your blog... have informations very importants. see you