The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/166933385
The photo :
The chat :
After early morning banana pancakes the size of a family pizza, we headed west (and uphill) towards …. well, any village with a guesthouse. Research a day previously had revealed a lack of hotels, restaurants etc along our route but we had hopes for a guesthouse or two after 120km. We broke for lunch after 70km at a tiny village reported (by the town’s tourist board) to have “the best grilled chicken in Laos” and proceeded to test this claim to it’s maximum. The village was lined with identikit shacks selling barbequed chicken as well as more exciting contents – frog, newt or baby lizard kebabs anyone? One chicken, multiple plates of sticky rice, and a beer laos later we hit the road again, for a hot and sticky 50km slog to find a guest house. The bike computer was registering 47 degrees in the sun, but it felt even hotter and chat dwindled to a minimum by the 120th km, as did accommodation options. As dusk fell, we finally found a guesthouse – but on opening the door the scurrying massive cockroaches and dubious toilet facilities (a hole surrounded by what I hope was mud) encouraged us to press on in hope of a better option. 7km later we found a rather sad looking collection of huts which were rather optimistically described as a “resort”. The owner appeared to be a 9 year old boy, the key to the hut was with a friend in Thailand, and the floor was made of plastic sheets sellotaped together, but It was getting dark and the next guesthouse was 50km away. After a restorative shower, we headed in to the night to find dinner. Many houses had signs outside saying “restaurant” , but the owners seemed surprised by our requests for food – urging us to try the next village. We eventually found a grilled fish stand, and headed back for an early night.