Day 22: Luang Prabang – Pakmong (110km) – Distance travelled so far 1,210km “Flat roads – Mekong by our sides”
Rest Day (Day Before)
Our Rest day in Luang Prabang was great. We ate as much crap/junk food as we could….We also caught up with emails/phone/skype etc etc….Mike and I went off for a cycle (Yes everyone….on our rest day!!!) to the Tat Kuang Si waterfall and national park about 50km outside town….The waterfall/park was great fun. It had a wild-life reserve with black bears and tigers. It also had rope slides at a swimming section of the falls. Sporting our finest Y/Fronts (only kidden!!!) we bounced about for a good hour or so…..
Our cycle to Pakmong
The morning was fresh so we hit the road at about 7:30ish. Breakfast was a doddle at the Bon Cafe (pancakes, Lao coffee (coffee with condensed milk laying on the bottom of the cup……Delicious), cornflakes and fruit. We know that todays cycle is going to be fairly flat so with this in mind we push to cover 100km and more…..
With the Mekong River runing parallel to us we cycle some really nice, undulating roads to Pakmong. Its a refreshing break from the steep Laos mountains that darn nearly turned us into whimpering kids a few days earlier.
The roads are littered with adults and kids beating and rolling what look like rushes/weeds. It has boggled us for the last few weeks as to know what they are doing. Many of the touring cyclists we have asked didnt know either…Were they preparing some contraband substance or merely using the plants/shoots to make clothing from???…… Today we have found out……They use the rushes to make brooms and dusters. Mystery solved for the lads!!!!
The roads (although flat) are becoming more and more like dirt tracks. This is primarily due to the huge amount of mud/land slides from huge mountains towering over them….We imagine that rainy season make the roads at some points untravellable/unnavigable/impassible (Are any of these even words???). Anyway….what we are sayin is that at some points they are generally “light on tar”
We reach Pakmong at a good time covering over our 100km target…We stay in a cheap family run guesthouse….Food here is becoming increasingly less palletable…with most of it processed in nature. When we do ask things like meat (and especially chicken), we always seem to get warmed up chicken bones. It is really annoying especially when our stomachs are eating at our backbones and…..(get ready to laugh!!)………when it is served up to us with a beautiful Laos smile!!!!!
We settle for oranges, rice, noodles, coffee and some rice bars which is substantial enough. After stimulating conversation with our host family (Chatting in the sense of us gesturing, pointing and looking confused) we decide to call it a night. We will attempt to cycle to Udomxay tomorrow. It should proove more difficult than today and will be about 84km or so….
Talk in the morning. Slan.