We braced ourselves for a long day and that meant we start early and as it is with anything, we split it into bite sized chunks and intermediate targets. Usually my ride is free form, but when we want to move with a clock, the technique of making small targets helps. We were 235 km from Vientiane and one of the things we wanted to do was to get below 100 by the end of he day. My legs were feeling the effort of the past week and it would have to be a mental slog more than anything.
We were up and out at 7 am, that’s a good start. We hopped into a shop for b’fast. They tried to rip us for 25,000 kip for fried rice. We just refused to pay and offered 10,000 and the feller accepted. Bugger. After that, we scouted a town about 42 km away and that was the first target. We rode hard and we got in just before 10:30 am. We wanted 50, but knowing Laos, there might not be any thing to eat in the next 30 km. A shot of soy milk and a little rest later we were off, targeting another town about 55 km away for lunch.
The route was really flat and when we’d turn west, the headwinds were not an issue anymore and the pace was pretty high. We ate the distance before 1 pm and as we reached town, picked up a watermelon and found a restaurant. We had food and they chopped the water melon for us. We decided to take a bit of a rest and a brief nap. There was a bit of pressure build up in my ears and that was irritating. Well at half past 2, we hit the road again. With another 50 or km still to go.
There were few targets in mind, first up was to get to 120 km to Vientiane, that would even out the distance, next was to do 30 km before rest, followed by a hunt for 100 km to VT and then cruise home. After 20 km I spotted a pharmacy and figured I could get some help with the ears. Too bad no one was in. I got a soda and gulped it down. It wasn’t all that helpful. So I just put my head down and rode.
When I passed he 100 mark, that felt good. Means tomorrow would be a chill day. And the last 7 km was a ride in the cool breeze. We got into the town and found a nice wat by the river. Again, the monks were totally accommodating and let us sleep in their hall. Awesome. A quick dinner later, we retired for the night!
Route: Namthong to Thabok
Distance: 142 km
Ascent: 800 ft
Descent: 800 ft
Time in saddle: 10:00 hrs
Expenses: Sg$ 12.67
Comments: the scenery is pretty with lots of hills in view. Route was flat, flat and flat.