Bike-Ride to Australia Tuesday 24th-January 2012 Louanghrabang to Kioukacham. 55 miles. Not a good start to the day! I was up nice and early and had loaded my bike up before breakfast. I wanted to be on the road as early as possible, knowing I had a 22km climb as soon as I left the hotel.
After loading my bike, I went to get breakfast. There was a lot of Chinese staying at the hotel for the Chinese New Year. And they had also decided on an early breakfast, which was bad news for me! There just wasn’t enough food to go around. As soon as something came out onto the buffet table, it was gone! Why do these hotels that advertise and supply a breakfast not put enough staff on to cope?
I wouldn’t usually have bothered to wait and would have just left. But with the thought of a 20km climb, I thought it best to have something to eat. So I just sat back and waited until everybody else had had their fill. Consequently, it took ages, and I didn’t leave the hotel until gone 8 o’clock. A full hour later than I’d intended! But, hey, there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
I set off from the hotel, psyched up for the climb, only to be pleasantly surprised by a flat ride! I began to think I’d been misinformed. But I was told by various people that there was a long climb ahead of me. After about 15km, the road started to go up, much to my disappointment!
I was joined on the ride up the hill by a couple of French cyclists. Who were also heading south towards Malaysia. As is the norm, they both spoke excellent English, making the drudge up this hill a lot easier. It also gave me somebody new to bore! At the top of the climb, I said goodbye to Vincent and Natalie. I wanted to get a bit further than they did. I also knew that I would be a lot quicker going downhill because of my weight. On the bike, that is, not me anymore. I’m like a toned athlete these days!!
The downhill was good, but it didn’t last, and I was soon going uphill again. I spent the afternoon going uphill, and I’m staying in a guest house at the top of one of these mountains. I’m hoping it’ll be downhill for the first 30kms or so tomorrow morning.
My kind of place tonight, it’s cheap and the bikes in the room with me, so I know it’s safe, and I don’t have to unload it. They’ve also got a restaurant. I am a little worried, though! Outside at the back of the restaurant, some monkeys are in a cage. I just hope they’re pets and won’t be on my plate tonight!
Subscribe to Garry’s blog and follow Garry’s journey around the world. Plus, you’ll receive news and updates on future tours.