The route : http://connect.garmin.com/activity/166933367
After struggling with the heat yesterday, a 5 30am start was warranted for today’s 120km ride to Savannakhet, Lao’s second biggest city (although this isn’t saying much). We raced through quiet leafy roads, stopping only for a quick traditional Laos breakfast of noodle soup and double chocolate cornettos. 8 hours later we rolled into Savannakhet, a sleepy “city” on the banks of the Mekong with streets lined with fading but beautiful crumbling colonial buildings. After a quick 2 hour power nap in our Gestapo style hotel, we headed into town searching for signs of life. Having been warned that the entire town goes to bed by 9pm we felt it best to start celebrating being back in the big city early with some Lao Lao (local rice wine) cocktails and Japanese food. The warnings were true – by 8 30pm we were the last people standing, and rewarding ourselves on our hedonistic party animal attitude, headed to bed. Over the last fortnight we have both become completely addicted to the Danish (subtitled) crime drama series “The Killing” after supper. For any of you who haven’t watched it – do so, it’s amazing. When chat runs out on 8 hour bike rides, we can happily pass a couple of hours discussing how we would conduct inquiries into the murder case/whether the current suspect (which changes every episode) is guilty or not, or simply fantasising about Sarah Lund’s jumpers. This may help explain why many of the blog entries end with the words “early night” – any attempts at sociable drinks/book reading/exploring a town’s (usually non-existent) night life have been abandoned in favour of watching Danish detectives pace around and argue with each other. I’m not sure what we will do when the series is over but remain hopeful that that there may be a Laotian support group for this kind of addiction.