Tuesday 26th – Wednesday 27th January
We’ve had a change of plans.
Old plan: cycle all the way to the south of Laos, spend a few days in the 4000 Islands region before exiting just as our Laos visa expires.
New plan: head east into Vietnam now, and see the 4000 Islands later.
This new plan (devised by Route Master Eric) is due to the bad weather interrupting the timing of our route down Laos, and it also makes sense to see a bit more of Vietnam as we have a 2 month visa prepared.
So, the weather. It’s cold. And the forecast for the next two days is rain, rain, rain, rain, rain, rain…
We’re going to go with Mitchell and Webb’s solution to the problem: remain indoors.
We have a nice guesthouse with a good wifi connection (jackpot!) and a restaurant across the road. We will only be emerging for food. I am deeply excited by this plan.
I like the lifestyle of hard days followed by lazy days. One gets you in the mood for the other.
Thursday 28th January
We were planning to leave today but Eric woke up with a stomach ache. The cause? Three quarters of a bag of sweets yesterday evening. Yes, too many sweeties.
(I looked it up on the internet – fructose can cause indigestion.)
I gave him sympathy in between moments of hysterical laughter (which included tears and flopping over on the bed).
“You can’t write about this…” he said.
“But… it’s sooooo funny!!” I said. Eventually I gained his blessing. He’s a good sport.
He was pretty much better by the afternoon, though it was far too late to set off by then. That evening we had dinner as usual and bought some biscuits for dessert.
“These are delicious! Are there any more?” said Eric, to which I replied: “Now, what have we learned?”
Friday 29th January
After taking a break to hide from the bad weather (plus another day for Eric *snigger*) the sun was shining, and we were finally ready to go again.
In the morning we got to see clouds pouring over the mountains like dry ice. It was very cool.
Our route began with an unwelcome 6 mile hill out of Na Hin’s valley. As we got higher I waited patiently for the gap in the foliage I needed to photograph the beautiful karst mountains erupting from the valley floor below… but, I waited too long and the clouds stole my view!
Soon it was very misty indeed.
Then down we came into a valley where we saw a boat made from half of an old bomb shell, which would have been dropped on Laos by the USA during the Vietnam War. A nearby family looked bemused as I took a photograph (it was probably their boat).
We cycled through the karst mountain-lined valley.
Then up we went…
And down into the next valley.
Check out the high-up cave in this mountain.
I didn’t know what “karst” was until I visited Laos. Now I am its biggest fan. (“Karst is a landscape formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks” – Wikipedia.)
There was only one restaurant in Lak Sao on our map, called the “Only One Restaurant”. We took the hint and went. It wasn’t that good, but to be fair the pressure’s not exactly on!