TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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Horizons Unlimited Thailand Here I Come – Part 1

Posted by TravellingStrom on January 8, 2013

Well, it took me a while to get sorted this morning for an actual ride on the Vstrom. It has been so long that I had to relearn how to pack the bike. I then had to hand over the rental, retrieve my passport and I also decided to drop into Fuarks and hand over a bonus to the mechanic, in the end he did a good job, and also handed over some funds for Fuark to buy some beer for the lads 🙂

So, I said farewell to Vientiane finally and hopefully for the last time for a long time. I also said farewell to Don, the Midnight Mapper and his wife who live here 🙂

I did not get far down the road before I had to stop and add air to my front tyre, it was near flat. Then after that it was only 15km to the Friendship Bridge that crosses the Mekong River between Laos and Thailand.

The Immigration and customs on the Laos side was simple and fast, within 10 minutes I was stamped out and on my way out of Laos after 3 months!!!

Entering Thailand was also easy, but just took a bit more time, about 20 minutes but that is nothing, I was soon doing a big loop de loop down around town under the bridge and off along the river towards the west. 🙂

I wanted to take it easy on the bike and I had actually planned a route to follow the major highways in case I got into difficulties, or the bike broke again!! Here it is in highlighted purple

BUT, as it so happens I was sent a message by Moritz, the German chap I had met in Bangkok, he advised me to ride the 211 and follow the Mekong River. I thought about it, for about 10 seconds, and went for it 🙂 So this is the route I actually took, the blue line is the track of where I rode.

My actual track is about 110km longer in distance than the highway, but I had four days. My thoughts were that the bike is running, if it was going to fail it should have done so by now, I will still baby it a bit but it should be OK. As it was nearly lunchtime I grabbed a nice lunch at a roadside cafe before riding again and where I was now, with the river levels very low I did not see much water, it was on the other side of the river plain, but this must be a great sight during the wet season.

I found some sections of twisties but nearly had to learn how to ride these again! Even when I first rode the bike today I was so used to a small step through scooter, with 4 up gear change I kept stuffing 1st to 2nd 😳 But here in the hills I found the back end skating a bit and then realised that my back tyre is buggered and whenever I lean over it is riding on the squared off edge section, which is not a lot! I had been going to buy a tyre in Laos but they only had crap ones and were very expensive. I will have to see what Thailand has to offer. Up in the hills here I thought I was back amongst the Plain of Jars as I kept seeing them everywhere.

But then I noticed they were clay fired and not made of stone like the ones in Laos and they are being used here as water catchment from the roofs. I kept riding and got another message from Moritz, he said he had gone to a town called Loei and stayed at a very nice place, after 300km I arrived there and could not find the place on my GPS, so in the end I just picked a place, which was called the GoodView Resort. It was off the beaten track and the view from the back door was thus:

And the view from the front door was thus:

It was cheap enough but I was starting to feel a bit ill. There was no food here and I did not feel well enough to ride into town again, so lucky for me I found a peanut brittle bar which was dinner. I don’t know what I had but I had the shivers and the sweats, and a deep headache. Even after a hot shower I was shivering so I curled up and went to bed and sweated and had weird dreams all night!!!

Cheers from
TravellingStrom

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