|Claimed by The MUD|
|Great for pigs and hippos|
|Old logging truck|
|Bikes that didnt make it|
|10kms of tarmac and then this|
|Tok Tok takes people into town|
|Locals humping firewood along a lovely smooth section of tarmac|
|Views like this make it all worthwhile|
|Two lads pose in front of 'The Digger that stops for no-one'|
|Happy to break at another beautiful spot just before the BIG uphill|
|Looking back down the gorge and about halfway up the hump|
|Its a miracle! The road starts to go down|
|Delirious with fatigue, joy and disbelief as still going downhill|
|Bell at a local temple made from an old artillary shell|
Hongsa to Muangngeun 41kms
Cold and overcast this morning. Stomach felt full and a bit spewy and Ive got the runs. Went to mkt for brekkie although it took some will power to eat my seemingly greasy eggs. Took photo of a bamboo rat in market ‘Ta-on’ 15000kip. Set off, bit of confusion up the road cos a new opencast mine (lignite of all things!) and power plant are being built so all roads a bit buggered, although not as buggered as people’s health will be in the coming years. Asked directions to Pak Beng from an old woman but she thought I was asking for a type of vegetable (pak) and said she didn’t have any. Equally puzzled results from girls up the road so went back to construction site and asked some English speaking blokes there. About to set off and then another asked me where I wanted to go and gave me directions to Hongsa.(He thought I wanted the bank when I said Pak Beng). Eventually got it all sorted and set off on right way. This whole road under construction (it’s got workers and everything!) and easy to ride on, mainly clay and gravel, not too steep either compared to the big mtn of the other day, but feeling very tired and dodgy, sweating a lot and weak. Very forested around here. Quite dusty when pick ups and trucks go past.
Last 20kms noticed had a bulge growing in rear tyre, kept speed down as similar to a buckle and didn’t wanna break anything. Limped into Muangngeun about 1:30. Sun had popped out about an hour ago and was now very hot. 2 GHs in town but only one worth staying in with a lovely lotus pond in the front full of purple flowers.
Had a wash then took tyre off to discover it was ruptured inside – not tough enough for weight going over rocks and stuff. Took tyre for a tour of every tyre repair shop in the town, eventually found some that had mtb tyres but they only have 24inch ones here. Felt really weak all afternoon and tried not to shit myself. The very last shop at the end of town called his mate and said they had a 26 so he went and fetched it but it turned out to be a racer tyre so no good to me. Said sorry and thanked him for trying to help. Even asked a bloke who had several mtbs in hjs garage if he had a spare tyre but to no avail. Everyone says I need to go to thailand to get a new tyre. So plan is to go to Huay Xai and see if shops have one there…
Had a look at a really old temple, with huge trees outside. At night chatted with a Japanese woman who is researching textiles here. Still feel crap and I managed to eat a small plate of rice after about 30 minutes, Feel exhausted.
|Bamboo rat for sale in local market|
|Elephant on its way to work|
|The start of an open cast lignite mine and soon to be built power station - thats this area f**ked then|
|Wooden tiles on a temple roof|
|Beautiful lotus pond outside my room|