12 December 2008

Motorcycle (moped) diaries

Today I left Liz asleep in our bungalow and headed off out early into the Laos wilds on a mighty motorcycle. Ok, so a 125 moped isn't exactly a Honda Fireblade but given the back country road conditions and my scant riding skills anything more powerful would have probably ended in hospitalisation.

I had tried to convince Liz to ride pillion with me but she was having none of it as she has a morbid fear of anything with 2 wheels. I had a whale of a time. It took a little while to get the hang of things but after an hour or so I was giving it my all in a Charlie Borman and Ewan McGregor stylee. In the end it was probably for the best that Liz hadn't joined me as virtually all of the 60 or so kilometers of the Vang Vieng West loop that I covered was over unsealed roads and dirt tracks. Some of it was quite hard going. I managed to only nearly dropped the bike once when I hit an obscured trench whilst trying to ford a stream!

Once again the scenery was great as I passed through little villages surrounded by massive limestone peaks. There were also several stops on the way where you could visit caves but I was having far too much fun on the bike to be bothered with that.

The cost of hiring the bike for the day worked out to about four quid plus petrol . . . which is cheaper than hiring an inner tube for an afternoons tubing! Although the town of Vang Vieng is a little ugly the beauty of the surrounding countryside (and the tubing) definitely make it worth while spending at least a couple of days here.

After I got back we watched the sun go down at one one the sunset bars on the river.

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