As planned, I cycled this morning towards the next checkpoint. Until now I used to travel from remote place to remote place and stop during the day in Café but now I’ve broken that pace. That’s why this morning I cycled directly all the way to the next stop so later this afternoon I will be able to sleep between petrol station again. Except that, that next petrol station had a very nice spot again. At the back of the area, behind the buildings, next to a lake, out of the noise and close to the toilets, there was a very clean shelter with benches. How to resist? I didn’t :-)
I’m not really in hurry these day: today is one of my slow record. Another easy day with no particular events. Last night was a lot more quiet compared to the Chinese temple so I could recover a bit. Once all packed, I cycled to the next PTT petrol station, stopped for the day until 5 or 6 when I came back on riding during late afternoon. I ended up in a half finished or half broken building with a remaining roof, the only thing I’m really looking for. I cooked dinner, browsed a little the news on my phone and slept. Simple!
Aie! The return of the hills! I was still okay without haha :-) But that’s fine, it was far to be the Loas style so I survived ;-) Not much interesting thing on the way today. I didn’t take much pictures neither. I was just focused on the hill. Should I do it tonight or smash it tomorrow morning? Actually if I would have done another 40km today, I would get across to hills, the second being the highest. So I’ve decided to climb the first one this evening, sleep somewhere around a village and do the second part tomorrow morning by fresh temperature. That sounds like a good compromise :-)
As you can see, the weather today is a bit, just a bit, covered :-) but lucky me, I didn’t as much rain as I thought. The road was pretty easy today so I did not struggled very much. Sometimes, I get closer to the Mekong and can see Thailand, sometimes the road turns more west and I loose the river for a while. All I’ve done, is cycling, taking pictures and enjoyed this fresh day :-)
I thought the worst was behind me but it didn’t mean the road would be flat. Ban Nam Chat is situated in a hole. I’ve enjoyed yesterday night going down hill for quite a while. After dinner, when I was trying to find a spot where to sleep I’ve ended cycling uphill again. That was only the beginning of the hill. This morning I started with a 650m ascension. I had some lunch at Phou Khoun which was in a bowl but still 1200m high. Finally I had another climb that brought above 1500m and started a huge downhill during late afternoon. At night, another huge storm hit the sheds where I was staying. The wind was super strong and I thought the roof was going to collapse but it didn’t fortunately!
I started the day in the mist. During the first hour I could not see very far. The first part of the day was easy compared to the second part that was much steeper. I had to push my bike few times. I finished cycling at night today and experienced another storm later on. The weather in the northern part of Laos is very different compared to Northern Thailand. It’s raining almost every night. Well, rain only would be okay if strong wind, strikes and thunder would not join it each time.
Today I have done two passes again. There is not much choice if I want to keep doing a minimum of 70km per day. I have also met 3 cyclists from United Kingdom during the first morning ascension. Once at the top, I was welcome by those 4 children who waited for me to take pictures of them. Then I continued downhill until I reached the river and a village where I had my lunch break. Finally I started the second climb of the day, reached the summit and then got caught by the night and a double storm. I really thought I would finish the night fully wet but fortunately my camp site resisted. Lucky me!