Dedicated to a wonderful Mother Jean Noble 31/5/1929 - 20/8/2007 - may we never take our mothers for granted. - Goodbye Mum


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Laos Information - Jan 09

Prices in Aussie Dollars

Saturday 27th December Savannakhet to Small village just outside.
6.95 k's Average Speed 10.31 kph Cycling time 0 Hr(s) 41 Min. Max speed. 24 kph Max temp 24 °C
Hilly Road Conditions: Fair Overnight Accom: (Lao Kip 50,000) $9.00 Standard, Good

It rained throughout the night and into this morning, however after a lengthy dry spell, we thought we would give it a try at about 11.30 am. We had been told there was a guesthouse about 30 k's away. The rain increased soon after we got into our ride, so we decided to abandon. Lee found a guesthouse, with no English sign and I became the first “European” to stay here.

It is almost new, with some rooms still being built. The rain increased throughout the afternoon, so it was a good call. Our wet weather gear is showing signs of age, particularly our trailer covers, they let some water in now.

We spent a lot of the day chatting with the owner and his family, gaining some insights into how the country “ticks”... It must have been a good talk as it was 5 pm before we knew it.

It really is a gem of a find with a large restaurant and very clean nice food.

Catchya Later...

Sunday 28th December Savannakhet to Paksong
72.67 k's Average Speed 13.19 kph Cycling time 5 Hr(s) 31 Min. Max speed. 46 kph Max temp 24 °C
Heavily Undulating Road Conditions: Fair Overnight Accom: (Lao Kip 80,000) $16.00 Standard, Good

It rained throughout the night but was dry this morning so we set off about 9.15am. We had been told that there were no guesthouse's for 100 k's We knew that was a ploy to get us to stay :-) There are eight or more (we may have missed one or two) in the 70 k's or so, we cycled, from outside Savannakhet.

Along the road was a couple of roadside stalls, so common in Thailand yet so rare here... This one sold veggies and “wildlife” :-(

This couple of guys had run out of petrol... we had about 250 ml left in a bottle, so they could at least get to a seller – hopefully....

We stayed in a guesthouse that was reasonable for the price, with friendly owners... Ours is the room with the door open behind.

Not much more today so, catchya Layer.......

Monday 29th December Paksong to 68 k's from Pakse
104.53 k's Average Speed 14.08 kph Cycling time 7 Hr(s) 25 Min. Max speed. 40 kph Max temp 29 °C
Heavily Undulating Road Conditions: Fair Overnight Accom: (Lao Kip 40,000) $8.00 Standard, Good

It as been a long hard road today, We reached the first accommodation option at 65 k's, they were happy to give us a room, however, warned us of the noise... It is a Karaoke pub and the rooms are part of the main “wailing” room... You cannot call the noise drunks make, “singing”, “wailing” is far more appropriate.

He said there was another guesthouse a further 20 k's, it was late but we decided to go on... Turns out it was more than 40 k's...

Short diary today and I can assure you this is the BEST sight we have seen all day – look at the time on the photo.... Just pulling in.....

It's no fun cycling in Laos in the dark....

We are well lit up as you can see..... Lee is even better lit with two rear lights – she travels behind... The flag pole has alternating red and white fluorescent tape, at tip from Cyclist Charlie Bell in Melbourne.....

Cycling at night gave us an insight into the wildlife trade.. We saw lots of motorcycles carrying birds of many types, tied together, alive, upside down, making noises that indicated (to me) great distress......

Catchya Later......

Tuesday 30th December 68 k's from Pakse to Pakse
70.62 k's Average Speed 14.06 kph Cycling time 5 Hr(s) 1 Min. Max speed. 46 kph Max temp 35 °C
Heavily Undulating Road Conditions: Fair Overnight Accom: (Lao Kip 70,000) $12.80 Standard, Fair/Good

Our host last night was great... He gave us extra water, rice and refused all payment... He lost his legs in an accident between a motorbike and a Truck.

He makes up all the rooms himself, there are clean sheets and the place is well run...

There is a staggering number of Animals on the road, Goats, Cows, Buffalo, Dogs, Pigs, etc... How there are not more accidents is beyond me.

We have cycled about 250 kilometres in the last three days and feeling tired, so a rest day is in order for tomorrow, also Pakse is a large Lao city with much going on. Another reason, tomorrow is New Years Eve, although largely ignored in the country proper, (Their New Year is Mid April), with such a large “Caucasian” tourist presence here there may be celebrations – We will let you know.....

We found an “Indian” vegetarian restaurant (We found two actually), Amongst other things, there is one thing Indians do well and that is Vegetarian food.... Tonight was no exception

Wednesday 31st December Pakse Rest Day
70.62 k's Average Speed 14.06 kph Cycling time 5 Hr(s) 1 Min. Max speed. 46 kph Max temp 35 °C
Heavily Undulating Road Conditions: Fair Overnight Accom: (Lao Kip 70,000) $12.80 Standard, Fair/Good

Rest day today after a very gruelling three days. Pakse is a very cosmopolitan city, with a wide variety of hotels, guesthouse's and restaurants. Currently it is “high season” and the troubles in Thailand have added to the tourist numbers.... at least to a few we have talked with.

Attempted to use an ATM today to draw Lao Kip.. The max you can get is 700,000 Kip (About AUD$130.00)... The machine made all the right noises, but no money came out... We will need to check with our bank to see if the amount has been debited... The machine must have been empty.

We have now traveled far and wide and are aware that there are MANY belief systems in our world.... For those that celebrate “New Year” tonight.. Let us wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. Those that do not celebrate tonight, we have found many, if not most of you, are happy to join those that do. We too enjoy “Soncran” (New Year) in Laos and Thailand and of course Chinese New Year... (et. al.) In fact we are very happy to join in most of the celebrations that different People(s) deem important to their beliefs.


We will start a new page for 2009 – Catchya Later....

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