Only 45 km to Pakse, cycling in the morning breeze which slowly changed to feel like the hottest day so far.
We took an 18 km dirt track detour to visit a weaving village on the side of the Mekong. Out of the way of tourists and main road traffic, the tiny village felt like a quiet oasis. Very friendly people tried to explain the weaving techniques (baskets/fish traps etc) and the purpose of the shapes but we ended up just smiling not understanding anything at all.
Back on the tarmac, as we progressed to the town of Pakse, roadsides became busier and more crowded. Cows, pigs and goats were part of the road traffic but clearly trained to horn sounds.
In the mid-day heat, we crossed the single lane bridge on a red light among hundreds of cheap Chinese mopeds and arrived in the centre of town. The “T” junction of the rivers, originally connected with man-made channels of water, created the perfect living conditions in dry season and in the long run, the city itself. Very pretty large curve of the river with an amazing width and lovely surrounding hills: the river probably triple the size of it when it meandered through the capital. However very hot and sticky it felt, it seemed much greener and lively down here in Pakse than in the central parts of the country.
We changed some cash in the Bank and went straight to the “Bolevan Café” to spend it. Air-conditioned, relaxed place with no street noise, lovely selection of drinks and free, fast WIFI! Yes WiFi at last.
A few hours later, we cycled in darkness through Pakse in search of a guest house. The one we really wanted was already full, so we tried another two and bingo. We found a grubby en-suite with ants, gecko or perhaps rodent droppings, and an overpowering smell of damp. At least cold water was flowing and the room was big enough to take the bicycles. Couldn`t be bothered to look elsewhere so we had to enjoy it. At least the bedding was clean – the room’s only saving grace!
Cycled 60 km