I’m sure for anyone starting their cycling tour there is a big count down until the day they leave. For us, we had the idea for our trip around three years before we set off, we hosted numerous touring cyclists in Hokkaido, gathering lots of useful information, and we did a few smaller trips in Japan before the big off. Now it is a whole year on since we said goodbye to our apartment in Iwamizawa and our friends we had many fun adventures with in Japan. And what a year it’s been. There have been so many amazing experiences leading to it being one of the best years, but also one of the worst years with losing my Dad. With great loss it can put life in perspective, to try and live every day and make the most of this one opportunity we have. I have tried as best I could to do this.
We can’t believe we’ve got through another country, ok we missed a fair bit in the south, but still eight so far. I was extremely nervous about the hills in Laos, especially after our experience of ”hills” in Thailand. I’m always the pessimistic one and Andy is forever the optimist but Laos was amazing. The scenery was absolutely beautiful, and that was in the hazy/burning fields season. The kids are phenomenal. The FFF (foreign food Fridays) incredible. The beer cold and cheap. We’ve had a great three weeks here.
April 9th to 12th 151km
Oudomxai turned out to be quite a nice little town and we stayed for a couple of nights. Our time in South East Asia has been a bit of a holiday, waiting out the winter so that when we cross Central Asia later in the year it’ll be a lot warmer than if we’d headed there in a straight line. With that in mind, we weren’t in any rush to cross the border into China, where we’ll be restricted by the time on our visas, so will be pushing to get more distance done each day.
April 2nd – 8th 249km
When we arrived in Luang Prabang, we didn’t have a definite idea how long we’d stay. From everything we’d heard, the place is hard to leave, and this turned out to be true for us! I think it became a running joke with the people in our guesthouse when we asked them, yet again, if our room was available for just one more night. Although we didn’t actually do all that much there, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Luang Prabang. It sits at the meeting point of two rivers (Mekong and Nam Khan), with the water almost completely encircling the old town centre which is full of temples, tree lined alleyways and colonial architecture. I’d love to say we were more cultured and toured around the temples, learning all about the historical significance of the nation’s old capital but, I can’t. We did see a lot of the town though, the night market, the leafy walkways next to the rivers and lots of the restaurants. It was just a very easy place to spend time.