The route: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/169308228
Bike tourists beware! The offroad route mapped here is bumpy and slow. If we’d known, we’d have stuck to the shorter sealed ‘main’ road which was still pretty quiet traffic wise, and probably prettier.
You win some you lose some… We had hoped to repeat our success of 12th April by staying away from the main road until the last few clicks, instead following the Mekong on unsealed tracks. Once again, local advice was equivocal – some seemed to think the road was fine, others were unconvinced. The route was rideable, but a butt-bruising, arm-shaking rutted mess nonetheless. And while the New Year festivities continued, they were certainly more subdued – I guess subsistence farming can’t be put on hold for a waterfight or ten. Nonetheless, we were still fed mid morning beer by girls who should have known better, and held up at roadblocks by marauding, waterpistol-toting teenagers who took great delight in drenching us with buckets of water. We rolled into Veang Kham, rather battered, for the ubiquitous pho (yawn) and a pretty dire hotel. But we had The Killing to catch up on, so it wasn’t all bad.