Day 8 - Bus Out, Washed Out - Summer Thaime - CycleBlaze

July 28, 2019

Day 8 - Bus Out, Washed Out

Luang Prabang to Phou Khoun

The bus turned out to be a good call. It left later in the afternoon, so I went back to Utopia.  The owner was surprised to see me again, asking wasn't I suppose to have left today? I said, "The roads are probably washed out."  She had a chuckle over that and said good luck.  Once on the bus, there was landslide after landslide that had been recently cleared, so at least we were making progress which got me thinking that last week must have been when the roads were all blocked and everyone was talking about it.

But of course as in typical Laos fashion, the bus broke down today.  This time it was the bearing on the wheel well.  What they did was slosh around a bunch of bearing jel inside and then rejig the bearings so that the device worked slightly.  A temporary fix no doubt. I told this to one of the other Canadians on the bus and he laughed. He said, "At least we haven't died yet. You have travel insurance right?"  My guess is he did not when he replied, "If we die it's no big deal, nice knowing you brother." We chuckled then everyone got on the bus again.

As they tried to repair the bus, an Asian cyclist passed us and my guess is he was Chinese based on his gear setup.  His plan would no doubt be to stay the night in Kiewkachan village.  This is the only possible stop you can make after a day while starting off in Luang Prabang unless you're superman. The second day stop is PhouKhoun where I would get off the bus so I was in effect skipping a day by doing this.

Fun times.
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Total washout
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Both me and a local got off the bus at PhouKhoun and it was now freezing cold and torrential rain everywhere. He was just as surprised to see me get off and watch the bike get unloaded as I was to see him. So we sat there in some shelter waiting out the rain and tried to figure out what the hell was going on for both of us.  He said, "I have to walk 5km to my village tonight." I said, "Isn't anyone gonna pick you up?"  He said, "My phone has no reception up here." I said, "So you're actually going to walk 5km in this shit?  Why not go to the shop across the street and use their phone?" 

He thought it was a good idea and off he went while I watched his stuff. Then when he came back, it was my turn to scout out guesthouses at the road junction to see if any were suitable.  But they weren't, so I came back and said I would bike about 10km out to find something better. He said, "Welcome to my village!" I said "Thanks very much but let's do this in the dry season, ok brother"  He laughed and agreed and said, "Yeah it's not the best time to be traveling now".  Unfortunately my holiday timings leave me with little choice.  

We both left at the same time and rain had died down enough that I'd make a go and get those 10km done. The original plan was to scoot all the way down the hill to the Hotsprings Resort but as of now that would be impossible, so the next best thing was the guesthouse at the view overlooking 'God Mountain'. That was easily found and the owners were super friendly and helped me get a swank room for 100,000 kip.

Today's ride: 11 km (7 miles)
Total: 471 km (292 miles)

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