Crossing the border into Laos and the biggest climb so far. 

For your info my brake arrived. Fitted it and bike is all back ready to ride. Had a great fair well get together and watched the Euro football champs on a big screen in the hotel. Got a visit from a bat. Bed 4am????. 

12 June. 29 miles. 

The day before my Vietnamese visa runs out. Left Hoa Binh after over two Weeks. Didn’t feel great today. Too much time off bike, too much drinking, too late to bed. Maybe all of the above. Who knows. Legs were tight and ached quite bad which doesn’t usually happen. Luckily I had planned an easier day to get back into it. About 5 miles from the hotel in Muong both knees were hurting. It’s an old problem and stretching usually sorts it. I was pleased to get to hotel. 

Drank plenty and tried to sleep. Only managed about 4-5 hours. No idea why.

13th June. 22miles. 
Almost 5000 feet of climbing in 22 miles. The climb started immediately after a beef noodle breakfast and a coffee at 9am. I could not believe there was no respite (well a couple of 500 meter descents not including the last one to hotel) as you can see from the profile below. 

Had to nurse knees. Drank well, although I was still struggling to hydrate. It was 40 degrees at the bottom of the climb and I was not creating enough wind riding at 6-7 mph. I stretched every half hour. 

Crossed the border into Laos at 1pm on the same day as my Vietnamese visa ran out. More luck than judgment. After this it still bloody climbed! I reached for my emergency pack of Orio biscuits which looked like someone had blown them up with a bicycle pump due to my altitude. I didn’t know how high I was but seeing this I knew I was 3000ft plus. Then I got a little cramp. Very rare for me and to top the day it poured with rain on the last decent which only dropped a few hundred feet. The road was super slippery as I discovered when the front wheel slid straight on when I turned the bars. At 25mph + a crash would have been the icing on the cake. I slowed right down after that and rolled into town. Both knees were hurting now although manageable I hope.

Checked into hotel in Nonghet for two nights. I need to look after them knees. Been loading up on ibuprofen. 

It’s much cooler up here. I keep forgetting I’m a 1000 feet higher than Ben Nevis (5000 feet). It also seems to rain in afternoon but only for an hour. I’ll have to remember this and eat lunch later whilst it rains if that’s possible. The places to eat or buy water are much fewer and further apart in Laos it would seem. I’ll need to remember that and plan ahead. 

Another country another currency another language. 

In Thailand they use Thai Baht. 50 to 1 pound. 

Cambodia use Riel. 5800 to 1 pound. 

Vietnam use Dong. 32000 to 1 pound. 

Laos use Loatian Kip 11500 to 1 pound. 

I’m well lost having just crossed the border. Here in Laos they also take dollar and Baht. 

Latest stats. 

Cycled 2100 miles. Burnt 530,000 calories. I think I have burnt more but the Garmin doesn’t take into account my bike weighs 75+ kilos 

That’s 2650 pints of beer I have banked for my return to the Rebellion Brewery back home based on each pint being about 200 calories. 

After today that statistic cheered me right up. 

Talk soon. 


Crossing the border into Laos and the biggest climb so far.  — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Paul, I know you from High Wycombe Cycling Club… It’s been great reading your blog and hearing about your adventures….I makes a nice break from the daily routine here… I have been meaning to leave a post for some time but finally have the chance to do it…

    Great work helping the local schools! … I will follow the blog all the way… Enjoy you travels….

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