Cycling in Lao
I stayed in a small village just after border and there was no any access to the internet and almost no connection to other places for me. So I preferred to leave there by following day, it is true that I needed more rest after Vietnam but there was no reason to stay, no good food and anything else, so I had to cycle 240km to reach to the first city which was Savannakhet, and cycle all along the way from east to the west, so I knew that I will face with front wind all the way, due to the wind is almost always from west to east and I had to cycle in opposite direction. I divided that to the two days each 120 km to cycle. I woke up early morning about 5 and after having small breakfast I left the village in a very nice and beautiful road which has no more traffic.
The road is really nice, no more car and motor bike, just each 30min you can see a car passing the road and always it is empty. You can close your eyes and ride and be sure to have a safe ridding, it is wonderful and everywhere is green. I passed many villages and all along the way there were many children saying Sahbaty (Hello) giving sign and I answered them all happily. I was enjoying seeing new people and new life style. Lao has a small population and it is very old country, no more technology and life style is very simple, it was great to see how they are living and they are happy. Almost each 10km was a village and many lonely houses were spread all along the road and just a small rice field is all they have and the rest of land is forest. No more plantations and I felt pure nature there. I stopped several times to take picture and talk with them, but there was no common word to communicate, I was passing through and just I had to open my eyes to see more and learn how they live¦ However I cycled all the day and weather was wonderful, it was cloudy and once a while light rains for few minutes and stop again, but wind was different story, it was blowing all the day in my face and just I had to fight with that. I had some snacks to eat along the day and in the afternoon I was looking for a place to eat dinner and then sleep, I found a small place to eat and just I shoot inside asked them to give something to eat, I was too hungry. It was difficult finding a meal regarding to what I like and just I was looking for rice which is most simple food and everywhere available. I got some sticky rice which some special kind of rice and I had some tuna cans in my bags, it was perfect meal. I was eating my food that I saw 2-3 dogs are walking around the shop and licking everywhere. They were licking a woody path that the lady uses it for cutting meat and if they find some meat, they try to have a bit and just the lady hit them and pushed them away. When I saw how the dogs are licking everything I was eating in that place, but there is no more choice, in these countries they eat very strange stuff (in my view, in their view they are very delicious and nice to eat and I respect them), I saw, many people eating ants and some other bogs, or snake or ¦.however I was too hungry and didnt care about dogs. Just 500m after shop I found a small shelter next to the road. It was wonderful and just I jumped out from the road and after 20 min I had a house inside a shelter and nothing more to do. A few days ago I found that my head lump is not working and so I had no light and just I could sleep, rain began and almost all the night it was rainy. 10m from my tent was a small river and it was nice to hear the sound of water and frogs and rain drops hitting the roof. So I slept very early about 7pm and woke up by 5 in the morning, it was still rainy and I didnt care about that, just I cooked some eggs for breakfast and made a coffee and collected my stuff and left there about 6. Rain almost was stopped and I started cycling in a very cool day, in that day also I didnt see sun and it was cloudy all the day and like last day few min rain a while. It was more than 15 days which I had cycled every day and just one day rest in Danang, I was too tired and I really didnt have more energy to continue. My legs muscles were cramped strong wind in my face. In normal situation I can cycle that road by speed of 23-26 km/h, but in that day I was cycling by 14-16km/h and it was not all the problem, I found a truck and I was cycling behind the truck in a good speed to reduce wind resistance that I faced with a broken spoke and my bicycle began to dance, it was from the cassette and I couldnt change it and fix it, so I had to continue on a dancing wheel. It was noon that already I had cycled 70km and 50 km more had remained to ride. I felt really tired and stopped near a river, I laid my bicycle on the ground and I went off the road to the river which was few meters below of road level. I lied on a stone and just opened my eyes, I realized that I slept about one hour, I looked up, my bicycle was still there, “hey Mohammad lets go, no place to stay, just go ” I jumped on my bicycle tiredly and start to turn the dancing wheels, which were looks much heavier than usual. My speed was going down and dow; I was ridding by speed of 12-14km/h and too slow. In that road there is sign road every one km and just I was counting them, 49,48¦.47..oh just 45km and every few minute I saw a number and I was happy that they are going down, but they looked that never like to finish. It was about 40km before the city and I almost finished. It is nice to mention here that in a long expedition you must to have at least 2 days rest a week to keep energy to have a good performance and I had nothing for 2 weeks, thats why that I am talking about tiredness. I couldnt continue anymore and I told myself “hey guy you are going to cycle around the world, not killing yourself, there is no reason to cycle any more in this situation, hey come on and take a truck to the town, it would be more fun and easy …”I jumped off from the bicycle and staid off the road was waiting for a truck, it was not cheating the road, I really had no more energy. But after 5 minutes I told myself again” hey Mohammad, dont give up. Continue and go. There is some nice news for you in town, it is a prize for your effort, just goes and takes it, and it is waiting for you” just by these thoughts I took again my bicycle and began to cycle again ahead to the town,¦29¦thats fine the number of 2 began¦..19..oh great the number of 1 beganâ¦.9¦oh finished just one number, it is almost finished. And finally I reached to the town very tired and hungry, I cycled ahead to the down town and I got a simple room in a guest house, after shower just I went to internet cafe and after 10 minute I was in a table in a restaurant which has Thai food waiting for crispy and spicy chicken salad and fried chicken with garlic served with rice.so delicious ( I will tell you about my prize later in a special article.be patient)
11 Aug 2007