I noticed that my front tyre was losing air very slowly. After a few attempts to just pump it up, I gave in to the idea it needed a repair. Being completely exhausted, we stopped outside a roadside motorbike/ bike repair hut. The wife of the owner got a teacher from the school next door to translate what I already shown to the mechanic. My inner tube got fixed while we attempted conversation in sign language. In the mean time I got offered their daughter, not being too sure how to respond to that one, I ignored it pretending that I did not understood (perhaps I didn’t!). The fixing fee was about 70 us cents We also left a bicycle pump, considering that we had accidently packed four! (one down, one more to go). Quick economic growth has created a country where all transport is motorized. Bicycles are reserved for very small children only.
Pushing hard on the pedals fighting with a head on wind we spotted a “falang” cyclist going in the opposite direction.
His name was Bertrand – a Frenchman who was doing a one year speedy version of an around the world (kind of) trip. He had done France to Asia and was currently heading north to China, after which Alaska by plane, then south into Canada and the US proper. A few mins more cycling and we bumped into a Portuguese cyclist – less of a flash-packer than us! He was an older ordinary guy who had flown to Asia and decided on a whim that he might buy a bike and do some touring – part of a weight loss routine – not bad.
In Pak Kading, our destination town, there was no internet and my already late call to the PolishTax office did not look promising. As our research revealed there was no place to make international calls, a friendly guesthouse worker offered us his mobile phone to make the call. We got him a top up for 10000 KIP (12 US $ and I completed my call)
We ended up staying in the same guest house - nice and spacious, hot water, shampoos, towels and even new tooth brushes with tooth paste. View not so great but not needed for just one night. It’s a very clean country, may not look like it, but it really is -you don’t get rodents, ants or cockroaches. Geckos trying to eat flies around the lamps are the only animal you see in the rooms.