Ban Nam Chat > Vieng Kham (68km)

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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!

Map.

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Elevation.

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That’s the spot I’ve found yesterday night :-) I was quite close to the road but hidden enough by the plants between the road and my campsite so I slept quite well. The numerous amount of strikes yesterday didn’t transform themselves into a storm. I didn’t hear any drop of rain too, luckily! I will pack everything quickly and start the first hill of the day. Few!


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First big hill done! I will have some breakfast in this village.


When I arrived there, there was absolutely no restaurant or something similar. The only thing I could find is those tiny local shop who sell mainly junk food, especially tiny portions of juice, “air cookies”, beer, noodles etc… Most of the time, they hook the cookies packaging in plastic bags at the front of the shop. The owner had some cookies which are individually packed and themselves packed in a bigger packaging. People come and buy one or two for a snack. To start, I bought ten of them. I made a coffee myself and soak (like French do) my cookies in the coffee. I had about 15 kids looking at me certainly wondering “What he is doing?” “Why does he do that”. One of them sit around the table and with a big smile start doing the same except he had an orange juice and a cookie… Well boy, coffee and chocolate works but orange juice… At this time I was thinking: “What is he doing?” Why is he doing that?” Haha. Maybe today, all those kids soak their cookies in orange juice then! Haha. I’m not proud of that.
Well, 10 cookies was fine but not enough. So I bought the rest of the packet. The owner must be happy with a good customer like me :-)

Finally, my breakfast finished, I kept on cycling again.

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Just atmosphere picture of the village.

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Along the way…

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That’s the view from Phou Khoun. I’m in a restaurant, having lunch this time :-) No needs to take a picture of what I’m eating, you know what it is :-) Noodle soup of course!


Kids in Laos. Well, they don’t behave like this normally but sometimes some off them like mocking strangers to impress their friends.

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What about you? Are you mocking me? Sure?

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I’ve stopped on the way to have a short break. Those two kids were staring at me, interested of what I was doing. I liked the background, the way their were standing and the dog next to them. I didn’t say anything. I just make sure they allowed me to take a picture.

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Nice to see the view from this altitude.

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That’s the top of the hill! From now on, the last part of the ride will be easy. There is a huge place here with a nice view, let’s have a look.

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Houuu, looks like some rain is coming… I hope I will find a nice roof for tonight.

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There is some nice toilets here so I will have a shower now. I’m not going to sweat anymore today. It’s very quiet here, there is no tourist anymore so I could even take some time and wash my clothes.

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That’s the best toilets in Laos or what?! You can sit, relax and enjoy the view very much from here. Each toilet have the same awesome view. I’m going to enjoy the shower too :-)

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Now I’m clean and my clothes are washed, I just have to enjoy this downhill. I don’t know how the weather is going to turn out but at this altitude I always stay on alert. As soon as I find a nice spot, I will stop.


And that’s what I’ve done :-) About 10 minutes later, there was several shelters on the side of the road. I picked up the larger one and fit my hammock underneath it. I had a seat to eat my simple dinner, some space to dry my clothes. Everything was on track, very good!

It was now dark enough and I was pretty tired so I hopped in my bed. I thought I was going to have a very nice sleep until 3 guys I’ve seen earlier came around. I remember when I’ve seen them, one of them had a weapon. He must be hunting animals. Like I said, there was lots of shelters but they just decided to sit around me. Two on one side, the last one on the other side. Isn’t that obvious that someone in a hammock, at night, is, MAYBE, trying to sleep? They didn’t bother at all. They didn’t speak a word of english too. When they arrived, one of them used is phone’s screen to lighten my face and stay like this for few seconds. Thanks for that… Then another guy called someone talking very loudly. I heard he mentioned several times the word “farang” which referred to me I think. Then he put some music on and so on. The others two were chatting just next to me, like 1 metre… Why?!

After maybe 30 minutes, they moved on. I was very happy with that :-) I was nearly falling asleep when suddenly a big “BANG” broke the silence. Wh.. What? What’s happening here?! The guys didn’t move far away but I could not see him. One of them shot something in the dark. What are these guys doing? Seriously… I don’t understand. Another 20 minutes later, maybe, the guy shot again. I’ve seen or read somewhere that there is still tigers in Laos. Maybe they are hunting them now? No idea…

Finally, they definitely kept walking down the hill and I’ve never heard about them again. But that was just the first event. Something bigger was coming. I was quietly laying in my hammock and ready to sleep when I’ve heard an heavy sound coming. It came from down the road and I could hear the trees being shaken violently like a huge invisible wave coming. I could really follow the wind. The noise was becoming louder and louder until it hit the place where I was staying. Wow! What a shock! My flip-flops and clothes flew away, the shelter was cracking and shaking so much that I thought I would get stuck underneath very soon. As soon as I get out of my hammock to wind caught it and it looked like a sail. Still that was ok because then the rain made its entrance. Arg! Everything is going to be wet this time. I detached the hammock and packed it as quick as I could inside my waterproof bag. I picked up my clothes on the ground because they would disappear in the dark. The rain was literally falling horizontally at this time. I’ve seen some other scooter stopping by and use one of the other shelters. I don’t how but they managed to light a fire with that wind! I have respect for that :-) The next step was to stay dry so I wore my waterproof pant and jacket and waited until the storm slowed down.

Fortunately, it was short but wow! very intense! Another 30 minutes later, the shelter was still standing. I managed to stay generally dry. I set up the hammock again, crossed my fingers not to be hit by another wave and fell asleep…

3 thoughts on “Ban Nam Chat > Vieng Kham (68km)

  1. Eh bé ! Vu comme tu avais démarré ton histoire je m’attendais à une rencontre avec un éléphant ! Lol. Il parait qu’il y en a beaucoup au Laos car les paysans les font bosser. Visiblement c’est une légende, pas la queue d’un seul dans tes photos !

    Sont beaux les enfants, et la maison rose flashy … rigolote !

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