Monday, 4 September 2017
The Worst Road
Today's drive was supposed to go to Salavan and be pretty easy, too. Sure, at 290km it is a way but shouldn't have been a big problem. It was also the last full day in Laos for this trip so I was looking forward to get some BBQ chicken and a big Beer Lao in the evening.
We left a bit later in the morning after having a relaxed breakfast and a bit of a quiet morning.
On the way we even stopped for coffee and Beer Lao breaks, it was during one of these Beer lao breaks that we had the idea to take a shortcut and a more scenic route.
This turned out to be quite a mistake and what started off as a bumpy but nice ride on a dirt road through small villages ended up being a long and muddy journey we didn't expect or enjoy much.
After stopping for another break in a small village and talking with the locals, I had another flat tire and needed to change the tube again. This was maybe a sign to turn back and take the better road.
We continued on this road however and it soon became muddy, full of rocks, slippery mud, even huge holes where the ground gave in and some wobbly or completely broken bridges.
To make things more challenging it also got dark and the longer we went on this road the worse it became.
We were still over 20km away from the next bigger village, it was past 9pm and with an average speed of 2km/h it didn't look like we were going to make it to Salavan or even any guesthouse in a reasonable timeframe.
We had to stop every few meters and try to solve the puzzle of which way to drive or push the bikes through the mud. The locals didn't have any issues with this and were driving past us without issues.
At around 1km from the village we were hoping would have a guesthouse we almost got stuck in the mud but after a few tries managed to get through it and found the only guesthouse in the village.
We and the bikes were completely covered in mud, tired and hungry but no place served food at 11pm so we had to make do without dinner.
Usually I enjoy these roads and the challenge they present but this was too much and took too long so towards the end it became more annoying than fun.