After the late night hanging out with the travelers in the guest house at Pakse, I didn’t want to wake up early. At 9 we packed up to leave and met Francois, a cycle tourer from Belgium on a funky recumbent trike. He is an amazing feller, one of his legs is paralyzed, but that didn’t stop him from riding almost 55,000 km in the last 4 Years. People like him make my journey look minuscule and inspire to explore more.
We hit the road at 10 and it was a day of slow slog with severe head winds. Ugh, thought we’d make some good distance today, but the speed isn’t there in my legs to take me far in the wind. Around noon, we met another French tourer and all of us waited out the heat in a roadside store. We swapped stories and by the time we left the spot it was past 3 pm and we had just 35 km on the road. Heh.
We tried to hit a steady pace and eat some miles, but the stomach started asking for something more substantial. We stopped for some food and the best we could get was instant noodle soup. Gah. Well something to fill up the void I reckon. There were some kids, seemingly celebrating birthday and they gave us a glass of beer which was refreshing in the heat.
We rode out a few more k’s and as the sun started to set, we looked for a place to camp. We passed a couple of wats and stopped at one to see if they’d let us camp. The monk was nice and let us pitch our tents. A few local children came up for some prayers and asked us to join them. It was a nice bit of chanting they did and was relaxing to be sitting in a quiet spot listening to the children chant.
It’s been a short day, but I don’t mind days where it’s quiet and the ride enjoyable. It was a pretty sunset, but I had to just make a mental picture this time.
Route: Pakse to Mueng Khongxedon
Distance: 68 km
Ascent: 800 ft
Descent: 650 ft
Time in saddle: 8:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 7.42
Comments: Roads remain great and as it is with Laos, more cyclist encounters!