The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/164959091
We bid sleepy Champasak a farewell and headed to the big city (Pakse), via Wat Phu -Lao’s much less touristy and as a result rather more enjoyable answer to Angkor Wat. After a quick golf buggy ride (!), we headed north to Pakse, a town which to the non cycle tourist may have seemed slightly dull, but to us was an aladdin’s cave of tasty delights. After some fantastic Laotian coffee (grown on the Bolevan plateau where we were heading in the morning) and chocolate cake we set off to learn some Laotian. Luckily salvation was not far away and we managed to find an excellent teacher, who was enthusiastic but puzzled by our requests to translate into Laotian such phrases as “Hello, please can I sleep in my hammock outside your house”, ” is the road dirt or tarmac” and “Do not play with the bike”. An hour and a half and 200 phonetically scribbled phrases later we were confident we had “nailed Laotian” and celebrated our near fluency with our new friends and some surprisingly good indian food.
Lovely lovely tarmac