Another day in Laos
|Travel From||–||Luang Prabang, Laos|
|Ending Location||–||Ven Vieng, Laos|
|Miles Driven Today||–||142 Miles|
|Total Trip Mileage||–||13447 Miles|
|Countries visited Today||–|
|Countries visited on trip||US, Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Finland, Estonia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos|
Breakfast at this hotel was wonderful. I ordered an omelette, made some toast from a hearty wheat bread, and enjoyed several cups of Lao coffee. This is the kind of breakfast that I’ve come to enjoy, and wish that we could have something like this every day.
We left the hotel at 7:30, so that we could get a jump on the day. As it turned out, we would have a number of fantastic experiences on this day, and they would require about 2 hours or so of our time.
This morning’s ride
The temperature was between 80-95 degrees again, and I was grateful for having the cooling vest that I brought with me, and have used only a few times so far.
Once again, the roads were good riding roads, with surfaces that had sand, gravel, potholes, stretches of dirt, and some oil on them. So, we would need to ride cautiously, once again.
A visit with the elephants
We turned left, traveled 1 mile down a dirt road, and came to a river. We grouped up, rode about 5 minutes down the river, and exited the boats at an Elephant camp, where we were offered the chance to ride and bath with the elephants.
I jumped at the chance, and did a 30 minute ride on an elephant, followed by a 20 minute bathing session with the elephant. What a ball this was.
The windy roads continued, and as a motorcyclist, I’m always conflicted about these roads. For sure, I love the twisty and windy sections, but in a country like Laos, or as it was in parts of China, and even in Kyrgyzstan, the road conditions are so bad, that it’s hard to really enjoy the roads, with their many road hazards, lurking just around the corner.
Nevertheless, these roads were enjoyable, but you needed to tread carefully.
I came around a turn, and found much of the riders stopped at a rest stop, where we expected to spend about 20 minutes or so. During our brief stay, we found amazing views of the valley below, as we looked through an open window of the restaurant.
PICTURE OF WINDOW
PICTURE FROM WINDOW
Marc ordered sticky rice for us to try and share. It came in a bowl, along with a oily paste, which was much like the consistency of a chili oil/paste. We grabbed some rice, rolled it, and ran it through the paste.
Wow, what a great flavor. I’m looking forward to having more of this when we get to Thailand.
With about 90 miles to go, we stopped for lunch in a restaurant with a scenic overlook, which looked down into a u-shaped valley, with mountains on 3 sides.
I had hoped to duplicate the flavors in the Pad Thai that I had on the Mekong river, but this Pad Thai was not as good, and not nearly as enjoyable.
The afternoon drive was nice, filled with excellent views of the surrounding scenery. Although, the roads were covered with oil, which made it difficult to commit to a turn, and we were forced to drive with extreme caution.
We arrived at the hotel at about 4:30, and I have to say that it was nice to get to the hotel, and get a chance to relax a bit.