On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Friday, May 1, 2009

20km North of Kasi-Kiewkacham

Total Distance:76.15km
Total Time:7h42m46s
Average Speed:9.8km/h
Maximum Speed:52.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:7224.33km

UP, UP, UP! That is the story of today. Nearly the entire day was spent climbing. There were a couple of downhills, but they were more teasers than anything else. To be honest I felt a little ripped off. When I climb up a mountain for 20km, I like to be rewarded with a 20km downhill afterwards. This was not the case today. While there were a couple of downslopes, they were only about 5km long. All I can say is, the majority of tomorrow better be downhill. I want what is rightfully mine!
Difficult terrain aside, I still enjoyed the day. Once you hit the top of a mountain and look gown at the valley below, seeing for miles and miles, you can't help but smile. I took come pictures, but photographs don't do it justice. Neither two dimensional figures nor words can describe how truly beautiful this place is. Every ounce of pain; everyday spent riding in either scorching heat or poring rain; all of it is worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I still hadn't decided on what route I should take. On one hand, Phonsavan was pretty far out of the way. Plus I wasn't exactly sure that I would be able to make it to the Thai border before my visa ran out if I went. Plus, I've talked to a few people who were pretty disappointed in it. On the other hand, I wanted to go. My heart was saying yes, but my head was saying no. In the end I let fate decide. I pulled up to where the road forks. Left, Loungprabang, right, Phonsavan. I flipped a coin, heads for Loungprabang, tails for Phonsavan. It landed on heads, so it looked like I was on my way to Loungprabang. After giving it some thought, I think it was probably the right choice anyway.
While Laos is a remarkable picture of beauty, the same can not be said for the guesthouse I stayed at. It was slightly overpriced for what I got. A tiny little room, which looked although it had not been cleaned since... well, ever. I'm pretty used to cockroaches. They kind of come with the territory. This place, however, had them in abundance. Needless to say, I was not impressed and did not get a very good nights sleep.

No comments: