Friday, April 11, 2008

... and up to Kui Kacham

I forgot to mention in the last post that Phoukhoun was really really cold owing to its high altitude. When we awoke in the morning, we were in no mood to ride until it got a little warmer. Remember, we are acclimatized to SE Asia, not our native temperate climate, so we might seem like wimps when it comes to cooler temperatures. We sat over yet another bowl of pho for breakfast and waited for a little bit of warmth.

The pho did the trick and we were off. For me the day was tough. The dusty road, the beginning of the Lao burning season, and a nagging cold made this day less than ideal. It was up and down all day, but felt like mostly up. Luckily it was still incredibly beautiful, and there was always some place to stop to recharge the batteries.

When riding through a town, the kids would come running out to wave and say hello, but with us stopping, they were a bit more timid. In a town of unknown name we stopped for a bowl of noodles at an open store front.

Noodles spotted,


and presented. Spicy, fishy, with mushrooms, and a huge bowl of greens made for a great first lunch of the day. I sat near a mostly toothless old woman who did not for even one instant take her eyes off of us. Let's be honest here: we were hot, sweaty, wearing funny clothes, and riding bicycles with bags strapped to them. Oh, and I was snapping photos of my noodles. We were funny looking.

We arrived in the town of Kui Kacham to find a one street town where all the tour buses stop. The main drag is filled with the aforementioned buses, small dirty children looking for a handout (I shared my grapes), and tourists taking their picture. It's not an ideal stop after so much effort, but a place to rest one's head is always appreciated.

Note to readers: Sorry for the slow pace of updates. I've been travelling a lot the last month or so, so updates have been sporadic. I'll try to get back on top of things now that I'm back in Bangkok. Honest.

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