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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Day #22 - My Birthday Party - Nov 22 - 200km - 2500m of elevation - Average Speed 20km/hour

I set my alarm for 6 hours after going to bed at 11:20pm. I took my time packing up ... and rolled down the wee lane from my guest house at 6:15am.  Entering the bigger street and turning right, I was immediately met with about 20 Buddhist standing at facing the sidewalk chatting at the non-buddhist who were sitting on the side walk.
This was a specacle I did not see the day prior.
Arms giving is when the lay person provides food to the 300 or so Buddhist who walk the streets of Luang Prabang each morning.

xxxxxxx (Add picture sometime)

I went to a 'tourist' cafe where there was wi-fi. (Instead of paying ~$3 for a great breakfast, I paid $90,000Kip ($13.50) for a Great cappuccino and egg english muffin.   I felt I wanted to connect to someone.

I was able to reach Greg and Helen via Facetime.  It was awesome to have a quick visit prior to setting off on my bike at 7am.

I had spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to get out of Luang Prabang - enroute to Oudomxay. It was ambitious +200Km day with some big hills ... so I didn't want to be lost for too long.
Infact, it is the same route as where the Boat and dropped me off. I've now travelled it three times ... looking for my shoe!

Using my Suunto Ambit II ... I navigated (using the cookie crumb type path it provides) 10km out of town to where I knew the direction of the road.  Then I was able to press "Start" on my watch ... to calculate my distance for the day.  (If are a Srava Addicted Cyclist - like me ;) - you will understand that these 10km not showing on the Strava page ... kind of suck!)  I show 189km instead of 200!
... yeah ... 1st world problems.

50km into the ride I thought I saw a mopad in front of me.  ... but it was not a mopad ... I was curious. It was going so Slow I nearly hit her.  I met Gail and Charl. Wow! A couple from South Africa who are 2000 km into a bike tour around South East Asia.  They have just finished a 4000km Bike tour in Turkey.  She is 57 and he is 64.  They are fat - as they admit on their website -

(The more I ride my bike ... the more I like to ride my bike.  They are infinite number of "types' of cyclist! That the beauty. Laura Lee asked in a comment ... 'how many cyclist do you see in Racing Kit?'  So far - just me!)

The 115km to Pak Mong was lovely, easy and without incident.  I arrived at 12 noon ... and had some noodles with vegetables for $1.40. A coke, some potatoe chips and a big bottle of water increased the price another $2.50.

I enjoyed 50min in the shade, deleting photo's from Iphone ... to free up space. It seems I have little space on it ... which is a bit frustrating.

I really enjoyed the next part - and the hard part of the ride from Pak Mong to Oudomxay.
There were two big climbs ... but the road was a disaster for most of the 85km.  Potholes and Gravel. It was slowing going up ... and slow coming down - as I had to hit my brakes lots.

I passed some very cool villages. Had short encouters with smiling faces ... "Sabadee".  To my surprise ... kids occassionally chased me ... 4 boys energitically pushing me up a very steep incline.

It was 5:20pm ... and night was falling. I had another 30km to go.  I thought I'll push onto darkness (about 6pm) ... and see how I feel ... to decided if I'll flag down a truck.  (There was less and less traffic.)

Finally darkness was around me ... and I donned my lights ... and felt very safe. I had another 20km. I was enjoying the sounds around me ... and the VERY dark sky.
I flatted.
Man - it was DARK!
I found my emergency Power Bar ... got some fuel into me.
I cooly changed my back tire ... reciting steps in my head. I ended up breaking both rear break pads off when I re-inserted the wheel. I could not figure out why it would not go on. Finally this tire must not be inflated until it is set in place.  I fixed the brake pads.

... A couple kilometers later I found a nice 'restaurant' ... it was cold so I parked my bike and had a lovely bowl of noodles with a young Mom and her two kids.  Awesome.

I rolled the final 11km downhill into Oudomxay.
Beerlao time.  :-)

Navigation road side help. Like his t-shirt.

1 comment:

  1. SOunds like a great day full of adventure- would love to be there with you!