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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Vieng Phouka-Huay Xai

Total Distance:122.12km
Total Time:8h43m01s
Average Speed:14.0km/h
Maximum Speed:60.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:7817.14

I thought it would be a tough ride to Huay Xai, and I was far from mistaken. While the day before provided with some relief from the monstrous hills, the same could not be said here. It was back to big mountains and long inclines. The day was incredibly hot. Perhaps one of the hottest I've experienced so far, making it all the more difficult. As I said previously though, it's not like I had much choice in the matter. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. In this case the girl's gotta bike 120km through the mountains in the blistering heat.
It started off not too bad. However as the day went on the hills became longer and steeper, and the sun became hotter and less forgiving. There wasn't much time for breaks, although I managed to squeeze in a couple. Before leaving Vieng Phouka I tried t gauge how much water I would need. I guess I must have underestimated because at around 2:00, the hottest part of the day, I ran out. The worst part was I was midway a rather long climb and I knew it would be a while before I found a place to buy some more.
I sat at the side of the mountain, dripping with sweat and a little broken-spirited. It was starting to look like I might not make it. Feeling I was left with no other option, I attempted to hitch a ride. My attempts, however, were unsuccessful. The only vehicles passing were semi trucks with full loads. One truck driver took pity on me. His arm stretched out of his window as he drove by and in his hand was a 1L bottle of water. I guess I must have looked pretty bad in order for him to tell that I needed water just from glancing at me.
It was exactly what I needed, and after dehydrating I started to feel a little better. Well enough to push through the rest of the way. I ended up making it to Huay Xai, but barely. As I arrived the sun was just starting to set.

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