Saturday, November 19, 2005

Day 78 - Mai Chau to "KM 42" (between Quan Son / Na Meo)

Start: Mai Chau, Vietnam
End: "Kilomet 42", roadside village between Quan Son and Na Meo on the road to the Vietnam - Laos border, Vietnam
Distance: 103 km
Time: 6'37"
Avg: 15.5 k/h
Max: 42.5 k/h
Total: 5070 km
Total riding days: 57
Roadkill: The skin on my left arm and hand.
Riding hours: 0940 - 1740

Another attempt at getting into Laos. I am about 45 km short of the Na Meo border. It got dark on me half way up the valley. A local shopkeeper kindly invited me to sleep and eat in his house in this village. It is a Thai-style house-on-stilts with a thatched roof and rattan-and-tarpaulin walls. He gave me a pool table to sleep on. Surprisingly comfortable.

I crashed twice today. I have never crashed before. Both times the immediate cause was a silly cow in the road, and the slightly less immediate cause was a silly bugger on my bike. Or perhaps it should be the other way around.

Anyway, after yesterday's brakeless near-end, today I had new brakes in. I suppose I was used to having to squeeze the old brakes hard to get any stopping power. Now a light touch is enough. A hard squeeze locked up the rear wheel, and on both occasions it slid, once in mud, once in a cowpat.

Afterwards, I swore at the cows. They looked blankly at me, and said moo. This made me quite angry.

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