Tallabomba Blog

Thoughts on bicycle travel, adventures in general, photography, nature, and more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Laos 2011

I was exhausted as I put the tent up after the first day of cycling after a few months of R&R in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My legs were not used to the hills and riding with luggage. It took three full days before I started to get back in shape, and the roads were increasingly mountainous as I got closer to Nan province. It took me five and a half days to get to the new border crossing north of Muang Nan. It was a very quiet border and I didn't see anyone there except some salesmen and border officials. On the Lao side I got a 30 day tourist visa for 31 dollars.

The road quickly deteriorated on the Lao side, but a new road is supposed to be completed and sealed within a few months (late 2011). Unfortunaltely the half finished road was not much help in heavy rain. The red dirt soon turned into slippery and sticky mud that made it almost impossible to ride a motorbike, or even a car. Even I had great difficulties. I was either sliding and slipping all over the place in even the slightest inclines, or I got the wheels and gears full of the sticky mud. I had to stop for the night after just a few kilometers.

In the morning the road was drier and much more useful, and I continued to Hongsa - a district capital in Xayabouli province. Hills, mud and road construction made the 35 km trip take most of the day.

A new 12 meter road being built between Hongsa and The Thai-Lao border at Muang Ngeun.

After a rest day in Hongsa I continued on a small but decent asphalt road to Xayabouri (many spelling alternatives).

Most of the more exciting sections can be found as tracks on GPSies.com:

...but the most exciting section will be covered in the next blog post.

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