I woke up at 6:30 and the entire household seemed to be out and about. Ouch. Anyway, after packing up quick, we were about to leave when they offered us some b’fast of fried egg and sticky rice. We had that and they gave us a few bananas too. Pretty nice for people to share what they have with us hungry and weary travellers.
We hit the road hoping to do some distance today. The countdown to Vientiane is on and we would like to get there in a few days. The first bit was a nice ride in the morning sun. We took a break after hitting 50 km. This was more of a drink stop and after a 15 minute rest, we headed towards lunch.
We managed to chalk up another 40 km before lunch and the sun was starting to get high. We stopped for some noodles and a couple of french cyclists passed us. Chris chased them down and we hung out for a bit swapping stories. They had another 60 km to get to Savannakhet and we had 60 km to Thakhek. We were contemplating a 40 km but were inspired by these tourers and decided to get to Thakhek. As we were leaving, we met another cyclist, also from France. Gosh Laos is filled with tourers.
It was a time trial for the next 40 km and we hit a market just at the end of that ride. It was past 5 pm and the sun was fading fast. I had some coconut and after a brief stop, we decided to do the final 20. It was dark when we got into the ride and it was slower than the daytime pace. But hey, with no sun, it was much easier riding in the cooler weather and we got into town in the dark after 6:30 pm.
We rode around town looking for a monastery and found one just along the Maekhong. The young monks were super friendly and invited us to pitch camp in a big courtyard. They gave us some biscuits to munch too. As we were setting camp, a German couple walked past, curious to see what we were up to. As it turned out, they were cycle tourists too and we hung out a bit having dinner and talking travels.
Guess it was a long hard day of riding, but at least we were in a town with food and just 330 km more to Vientiane!
Route: Some Village before Savannakhet to Thakhek
Distance: 155 km
Ascent: 2050 ft
Descent: 2150 ft
Time in saddle: 11:30 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 7.50
Comments: Long day on the saddle. Feeling fine but the legs starting to get a bit tired. Roads are getting to be a bit boring, but still good pavement.