Big day today, I’ve done much more kilometres than expected. This morning, I’ve covered the 47km that separated me to the border. I had one gentle hill few kilometres after I started and then all the way was flat. Then, I went directly towards the immigration office. I realised that my visa ended on the 4th so I had to pay 500baht (about 13€) for this extra day. I’ve read online that for one day the immigration would let me go but that was not the case today. That’s my fault, I should I checked more carefully. Another surprise is they did not let me cycle on the bridge. I had to catch a bus and pay for that… Finally I arrived on the other side of the Mekong, organised my VOA (Visa On Arrival) and started my journey through the mountains in Laos :-)
What a waste of time today… This morning was all good. I’ve stayed with Kom and Tu’s family until 3pm. They invited me to a party organised by one of a village’s member who just finished his house. The guys nearly forced me to drink their local whisky. Then we moved to a wedding party where there was about 100 people minimum and I had to drink even more Whisky. They mix it with water so it’s not that strong but the taste still doesn’t fit me. Then, one of Kom’s friend invited us to his house to have some lunch and beer (I’m not lucky). Finally, we came back to Kom and Tu’s home so I could prepare myself and continue my trip. Those two days were nice. This family is fun. Everything was fine until, back on the road, I made the decision to use a shortcut through the forest. Well, I did not know it was through the bush. After 7km on the road I had two options: going north east across some hills or cycling around it in the valley which was longer. I’ve chosen the shorter road which revealed itself to be a path, then a track, then a dead end…
We discussed yesterday with Kom and Tu and they want to show me around. My Thai visa ends on the 5th of April so I’m still able to make it on time. Today we went to a waterfall. I think water attractions are the best during this very dry season. The kids enjoy a lot! We have spent several hours here and then came back to their home where I played with the kids to different games.
An unexpected day today. This morning I left my spot at the same time as every day. I’ve done the first 17km and stopped for a break. This is when I met first two young girls who came to me. They could not speak English so their father joined them. Five minutes later, I was at his home where I met his wife, brother, father and most of the members of his family even friends. We spent the rest of the day together.
I know it, today I’m going to push my bike. Last night was quite comfortable, I had a good sleep and I’m now ready to cross that pass. Once done, the rest of the day should be quite easy. Late this afternoon I stopped in a small town and slept in a market place.
Wow, I don’t know what happened today. I felt I was in Singapore again. The haze was very thick, I saw lots of people wearing masks. Today the road was much easier than yesterday certainly because I’ve stayed on the main road which is in the valley. This evening I wanted to sleep under the roof of a huge open hangar but the woman I asked the permission to offered me a room with a bed for the night. Thanks!
This time I found what I was expecting being a proper and real road in northern Thailand. On this picture, I’ve push my bike from bottom to top. In that case I prefer to save the belt of my bicycle than pushing so hard on the pedals and shorten its life just to say “I’ve done this”. I had to tackle several steep hills today and walked many times too but the landscapes were different than what I’ve seen until now in Thailand. I have no regret suffering a bit to enjoy more.