We got up early for a long 350km ride over mountain roads from Nong Khiaw to Phonsavan. This was always going to be the longest (not in km though) and most difficult leg of the whole road trip.
Getting up early was good but since not everybody had planned to get up early, it took a while to get breakfast.
Once we finished our breakfast and filled up the bikes it was time to brave the road and what a road it was.
The road is fantastic, lots of corners, ups and downs, great views and it passes through many nice villages.
We knew we couldn't waste much time so the coffee breaks and even photo breaks were kept to a minimum.
Unfortunately, a wrong turn meant we lost 1h in backtracking and a Ricoh GR camera got crushed underneath a truck.
The roads were all quite bumpy and narrow so the average speed was around 25km/h and this wasn't going to get us to Phonsavan before it got dark.
Having to overtake what looked like the same truck 5 times didn't help either.
It was a challenging ride and it seemed like it would never finish.
I almost ran out of petrol, it got pretty cold up in in the mountains, visibility was very bad but on the upside seeing a burning mountain in the dark was pretty cool.
While riding in the dark we came across another guy trying to make it to Phonsavan in the dark. Since his headlights were not very good, we decided to all go together in a sort of convoy.
This meant it would take longer to get there but it would make for a nice conversation over a beer.
All three of us almost managed to fall while slipping on gravel in the same corner and one of us did fall just a corner after but fortunately nothing serious happened.
Long story short, we didn't quite make it to Phonsavan and instead decided to stay in a guesthouse some 60km before Phonsavan.
This was and would most likely remain the most difficult but also most memorable ride in quite a while.
|(Oh yes, don't take photos while riding at night on difficult mountain roads.)|