Paul and Ray arriving at Black Sea in 2012

Paul and Ray arriving at Black Sea in 2012
Paul and Ray at end of 1,600km ride from Budapest to Black Sea in 2012

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Mueng Mai, Laos mile 725

This post is from March 2, 2017.

We biked 70 miles today and arrived at our destination exactly on our original schedule, at least for now. We are now about 20 miles from the border with Vietnam.

We awoke this morning to the sound of a heavy rain outside. It was also quite cool. I used my windbreaker for the first time on this trip as we walked to our breakfast. Thankfully the rain ended and though it was cool and cloudy all day long we remained dry.

The first 50 miles today were we're fairly easy with just moderate climbs following a river valley. During that portion we saw many bamboo bridges crossing that river as you can see in this photo:

Along the river we stopped for a midmorning energy break in a small town and we saw a lot of people dressed in  costume different than we had seen elsewhere:

This is our location tonight:

My diarrhea is getting better each day and that is no longer such a problem for me. However my asthma and my lungs are bothering me quite a bit on the big climbs. I don't really know what I'm going to be able to do about that.

We have been very fortunate that Ray speaks Thai for our survival here in Laos. Despite what we thought many Laotians have understood enough of his Thai for us to order rice, chicken or eggs, and ask for prices. Not tonight, though. We are in another Chinese restaurant meaning owned and operated by non-Laotian speaking Chinese for the purpose of serving transient Chinese customers, of whom there are many due to all the dam (and damned) construction here. Anyway neither English nor Thai was getting through in anyway for the most basic request of what can we eat here. The Chinese woman brought out her smart phone and entered the Google translation app and we literally asked the questions about the food and placed the order by each speaking our question or response and the other listening to the phone when it translated it. Ray says he has done this many times before but for me that was a first and quite interesting.

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