Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 48 Sat 14/08 - Namo to Oudomxay, Met with Malaysian World Cyclists

Today Distance : 57.1 km     Total : 2845.3 km
Today Weather : 25 - 33 C Morning sun Afternoon and night rain
Time on Bike : 4 hr 57 min
Ave Speed ; 11.5 kmh      Max : 48.5 kmh
Ave Climb : 3%                Max ; 10%
Trip Altitude : 714 m         Max : 1108 m
Today Spend : 92000k     Total : 623000k

The biggest surprise of the day is the rare chance of meeting with 2 Malaysian cyclists: Khalid and Aswad. Khalid is from Kulim and Aswad is from Kuala Kangsar. What a coincidence! Of all paces, we met in this remote corner of the world!! We were cycling in opposite directions. I am heading south to Oudomxay, they were heading north to Boten and then cross to China. I noticed them climbing up,so I stopped at a flat ground to wait for them,hopping for a chat, I didn't know where they are from as they didn't have a flag hanging on their Merida bikes. Then I heard Aswad saying " Hey, ni orang Malaysia-lah!" I guessed he must have seen my Malaysian flag. We tell our ride experience so far the plans ahead, and exchanged our blogs to keep in touch. Finally, we wished each other,best of luck,ride safe and enjoy the journey. Till we meet again, not in another remote world, maybe in Kuala Kangsar Thai restaurant besides the Kangsar river. By 3 pm arrived in Oudomxay,the provincial capital located in a basin surrounded by mountains.Much bigger than Luang Namtha. Vilavong guest house 40000k, I bargain down to 70000k for a 2 nights stay.

Negotiating a bend
Mountain greenery
Melon fruits stalls by the villagers
Jalor gemilang still flying high
Such a small world meeting with Malaysian cyclists
Aswad on my left and Khalid on my right
Big rocks at the road side for road repair
Dark cloud gather again at the far side
Have a puncture here and help by this man
Rainbow after the rain, view from the guest house
Another view of Oudomxay from the balcony

Day 47 Fri 13/08 - Luang Namtha to Namo

Today Distance : 68.3 km      Total : 2788.2 km
Today Weather : 26 - 45C    Morning sun Afternoon rain
Time on Bike : 4 hr 27 min
Ave Speed : 15.3 kmh       Max : 58.5 kmh
Ave Climb : 3%                 Max : 11%
Trip Altitude : 632 m          Max : 833 m
Today Spend : 97000k      Total : 531000k

My earlier intention to have a rest day in Luang Namtha was overruled mainly on 2 reasons: First. I had completed uploading all pictures in my blog and secondly a sunny good weather to start cycling. Decision made,so back to the guest house and packed up, just in time for the check-out at 11 am. The ride was smooth,nice road,no killer hills but extremely hot with another record high of 45C, then all of the sudden, the sky started to get cloudy, within minutes it started to rain like dogs and cats, no visible shelter in sight, so I hide myself and the bike under the bushes with my ground sheet as cover.The rain comes fast and go fast, but this helps to cool down the heat a little, I ride on until Na Tuey with a " T " junction. Left turn 18 km is north to Boten, a border town with China, And right turn is 28 km south to Namo and Oudomxay. The thought of staying a night in Boten flashes across my mind, a nice place with a casino and many Chinese foods. Undecided for a moment! But thinking hard and for a better tomorrow to reach Oudomxay, I finally decided to turn right. But the next 28 km to Namo was my worst roads encountered so far, gravel with many sharp loose stones, uneven surfaces with many potholes covered by rain waters, fortunately both my front and rear Schwallbe tires stood up to the challenge without punctures. Reached Namo 5.30pm. A disappointing small village town, and more frustration follow to stay in the only guest house for 40000k,the worst I stay so far!

Morning sunny ride out of Luang Namtha

Vast area of paddies fields

Hide under the bush to shelter from rain
Village along the way
Bad stoney road after the rain
Anything can be carried as long as space is available
Worst guest house I ever stay
Shared bathroom with yellowish water