Udomxay – Boten (Laos/China Border) (82km)

Day 25: Udomxay – Boten (Laos/China Border) (82km) – Distance travelled so far 1,376km“Bye Bye Laos…Hello China”

Good nights rest was had despite our floorboard matresses….Udomxay is a bit of a dead end town and is not very touristic. We do however bump into a very interesting couple (Andrew and Bianci) who tell us of their plans to purchase a fishing boat/canoe (one of those really long and thin ones) and paddle right down the mighty Mekong river. We are blown away by this. If you are reading this guys, best of luck to you and keep us informed on how ye got on. Oh yeah…when we met these guys, they told us about how they hired their motorbike which came with a free, dead squirrel….Bizarre I know, but seemed to have brought them some good fortunes…

Our cycle today will certainly take us into China. It is a really proud day for us and once again we cannot believe that yet another country will be struck from our list of about 19. Our bodies and bikes have taken some bruising but we are still pedalling. Our mornings cycle is pretty slow. The roads are non-existant at times and its beggers belief that the road itself is a major trade road.

We are finding the food in Laos pretty difficult. Some small village shops only stock packaged goods, most of which are nearing expiry dates. Restaurant food is poor and we figure that ordering meat will ordinarily only yield us juicy bones. We do eat alot of fruit and rice but its probably not substantial enough considering our journey lengths and the heated conditions which we constantly battle. We have been buying bottled water since we left Bangkok and it has worked out really well so far, but trying to find such a luxury in a remote little village 1,200ft up on Laos mountain is proving to be a struggle.

We stop for lunch outside Boten in a little village which turns out to have a primary school too. As soon as we sit down we are quickly besieged by the entire village. We sing to them and take some pictures whilst offering them some left over sweets we had in our bags….They were a very cheerful bunch and just stared constantly at us in disbelief. We sang some crazy songs which made them buckle over with laughter………


The kids seem very interested in what we’re cooking up


One of the Village Children playing we a home made Kite

After this we had to complete another 40km….The road ahead of us is still very grim looking, but luckily doesnt appear to be too mountaineous. The houses are becoming more and more Chinese looking architecturally, likewise with the people. We are getting closer and we celebrate with some pictures….“Wlecom to China”…….Wonder if that person still works at their printing station.

We have heard that Border Control in China can be a little testing and we fear that not having a clearly demonstrative exit point from China and also secured accomodation, it may cause some problems at entry. We are once again proved completely wrong with our passports and visa stamps sorted out in a matter of minutes….The Border Police are pretty much in awe of us too and we feel that our Irish Passports carry an added bit of clout during the whole process……With our backs to Laos, we cycle forth into China….Whooooooo hooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We do some currency exchange at the border, swopping our crazy Kip for Yuan…….(For example….I handed over 10Kip notes and got back one Yuan Note)…….

We shall be headin to Mengla in the morning so we decide to call it a night at a reasonably priced hotel just outside Boten. We are delighted and have a glass of sherry before bedtime…..Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Talk to you all tomorrow.

The boys

Only the lonely
(r.orbison/melson)

Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah
Ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-wah
Only the lonely

Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)
Know this feelin aint right (dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah)

There goes my baby
There goes my heart
Theyre gone forever
So far apart

But only the lonely
Know why
I cry
Only the lonely

Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah
Ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah
Oh-oh-oh-oh-wah
Only the lonely

Only the lonely
Know the heartaches Ive been through
Only the lonely
Know I cried and cried for you

Maybe tomorrow
A new romance
No more sorrow
But thats the chance – you gotta take
If your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely

Dum-dum-dum-dumdy-doo-wah

 

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