We were ready to pull out this morning when Huey discovered he had a flat . . . our pit crew jumped right on it and soon we were on the road . . . GREAT SERVICE!!!
While Huey’s tire as being fixed he, offered some yoga advice to a local retired teacher walking along the boardwalk!!!
Whats’s Cynthia doing jumping that chasm???
. . . actually it is a 3-D art project on a stairway down to the river, sponsored by the community!
. . . pretty neat!!!
On we ventured down the board walk . . .
.. passing this floating motel!!!
. . . the mighty Mekong was looking more like the Wisconsin River every mile we rode!!
. . . another example of the wildly appointed buses we have seen along the way . . .
Here is a statue to a local legend . . .
. . . who fired his crossbow at invaders crossing the river. . .
. . .stopping them dead in their tracks as they crossed . . . thus the land form, or dead bodies, stretching across the river
. . . things were getting a little steep across the river in Laos!!!
. . .soon we came across this group of pilgrims heading to a retreat somewhere down the road, caring their pots, pans and bedrolls . . .
. . . and soon we came across another two groups of travelers, both going in different directions. The first bike touring riders we have seen on either trip. . .
. . . both groups were from the Netherlands but had never me until now!!!
Soon it was time to stop for a break, so we pulled in where this snake statue was being constructed . . .
. . . and out came lots of goodies supplied by our van drivers . . . another great thing the crews have done during both trips is every time we stop for a break, to look at a temple, or some other interesting thing they fill all of our water bottles. You never run out of water or even think of it!!!
. . there was a large drum that of course Bo had to ‘drum’ with the mallet. Woodie said it was to call out the monks who live on the other side of the road up the mountain. We left right away . . . !!!
The only snake spotted along the way. Woodie ID it as a cobra and said they are very deadly. Glad it was dead!
We passed through one village after another . . .
The temps in northern Thailand are much nicer in the morning. Usually about 72 degrees when we start and they climb to the low 90’s by mid afternoon.
Nice morning temps, smooth road, no traffic . . . perfect biking.
The King is everywhere . . . long live the King!!!
Today we would have some rollers . . .
. . . which gave you plenty of time to look around . . . Holsteins and windmills . . . am I back in WI????
. . . and ‘You Pick It Strawberry’ patches!!
We stopped for a break and a van ride up a very steep and hilly road to a lookout area. We lefttour bikes near several little restaurants, one of which already had the salted fish roasting on the grill for lunch. . .
. . . and had two cute little inquisitive puppies!!!!
. . . a big ride uphill in the van got us to this temple and scenic overlook area including this ‘infinity’ walkway that had a glass bottom . . .
. . . shoes were provided so you would not scratch the glass. Nice!!!
The scenery and vistas was spectacular, but once again the other tourists wanted photos of US!!!! Here, through lots of hand gesturing, Cynthia figured out this guy wanted to tale a ‘heart’ photo (seems to be the latest photo phenomenon) with her. Tom, Cynthia’s significant other, got a big kick out of it . . .
. . . and of course, not to be outdone, Bo got the same shot with the guys wife!!!
. . .and these folks wanted their picture with us too. Maybe they thought we were some famous biking team (uh . . . probably not!!)
. . . not sure what this statue was all about but looked like someone from the disco era!!!
. . . and of course there was a beautiful temple on the top of the mountain . . .
. . . with lots of offerings available . . .
. . . and statues covered in gold leaf!!!
. . . but bigger is always better when trying to attract visitors and right next door to the temple was a ‘bigger and newer’ version being built.
. . . the artists were actually forming the statuary right on site with re-bar and cement!!
Back on the bikes we pedaled past this structure . . .
. . . a multi head snake which I wonder if had been constructed the same way.
. . . here was a guy with a little popsicle concession on his motorcycle filling the forms with a sweet juju . . . I wondered how he got it cold enough to freeze. By now it was in the mid 80’s. Liquid nitrogen??!!
Woodie found another interesting noodle shop forus to stop at and visit. This time the rice flour was mixed with water formed into 1 pound blobs . . .
. . . that were fed into a hydraulic extruder and pushed through the many holes in the head. You can see the noodles being formed and dropping into the steaming water . . ..
. . . after cooking for a few minutes, the noodles were transferred to two more baths to cool . . .
. . . then washed once more, separated and . . .
. . . packaged for sale !!!
Along the way today we also biked by acres and acres of tobacco, some of which had been harvested and was drying on racks along side the road.
Soon it was time for lunch and Woodie picked a GREAT lunch spot. It may have been the best of the whole trip.
We sat under the shade of an awning, on the banks of the Mekong with the capital of Laos, Vientiane, right across the river from us . . .
. . . FABULOUS lunch!!
. . away we went to our final destination of the day, Sang Kom.
The blue sheathing ahead is some work being done on the ‘Peace Bridge’ connecting Thailand and Laos, over the Mekong. We were hoping to have crossed the bridge to get our passports stamped in Laos but the visa process made the whole thing impossible .
. . . as we entered the city here was a new development being advertised. Oh . . . I guess the Thai’s too have a dream of a three bedroom home in the burb’s . .
. . . we turned right and headed to our hotel. Here Cynthia bargains with a local broom maker while he pedals along with his wares.
Only a mile or two down the road we came to The Park Pool Resort, our home for the night . . .
. . . where we had nice little cabanas . . .
. . . located on the water
. . . along with a beautiful pool.
We ate dinner outside, next to the pool . . .
. . where Huey made a friend for life, this drunk German. He didn’t speak English and Huey didn’t speak German but they got along famously!!! The German kept wondering around the grounds and the staff had to keep escorting him back to his table and beer!!