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Thursday, 28 June 2012

7 JUNE 2012 DAY13: HOUA MOUNG - LAOS / VIETNAM BORDER - NAM NEUN (300kms)

Today's ride is a ride to remember. The target for Day 13 is to finish the ride to Na Meo (Laos – Vietnam border), and try to get to Phonsavan. It was a very beautiful day today. As we braved the morning mountain chill, I saw glimpse of sun rays on the paddy fields. It was indeed a spectacular view. I saw teenage girls washing clothes by the river, and children bathed at the public water tap. We followed route 6 all the way to Na Meo. It took 2½ hours only to reach Xam Neua (60kms) and 1½ hours to reach Na Meo (80kms). I was glad that we pulled over at Houa Moung last night, because I don't think we can make it to Xam Neua if we continued, as the road was steeply winded ascending and descending. 


There was one time that my heart skipped when out of a sudden, a motorcyclist came out from a junction and without looking right or left, he crossed the road right in front of me! I was being scolded for not slowing down. Well, I'm riding on the main road, he's the one coming out from the junction. Okey, this is his country, so its my fault. It was a bit confusing to reach Na Meo as there were no sign boards. However, we managed to reach the border town and took some pics at both borders - Laos and Vietnam.



Laos - Vietnam border
 






The view was really awesome as we rode our bikes. As it was getting late, we hurriedly rode the winding mountain road.  The villagers were returning home from their farms. I saw children carrying piles of wood fire or bamboo behind their backs. How I pity them. Children in Malaysia were busy playing ‘Angry Bird’ while these kids had to work to help their families.





















To make matters worse, as it was getting dark, the rain started to fall. Fog started to appear and limited my vision. The road became slippery and I almost skided a few times. It was dark and I was riding alone in the mountain jungle. God knows how I felt at that time. I almost cried!!! Hadi was nowhere to be seen as he was ahead of me. So, instead of braking when descending a steep winding road, I press the throttle. I noticed that the locals didn’t respond when I honked every time when I am nearing a curve. It was very cold and due to fatigue, I didn’t realize that Hadi waited at the junction to last night’s guest house for us to stop for the night. I rode on to Phou Lao. There was no guest house at this very small town. I was very tired after the long ride and I was shaking terribly due to coldness, tense and fear. Upon reaching Nam Neun, I was so relieved that this small town had a guest house. Unfortunately, it was a fake relief as the guest house neither have electricity nor water. I asked some locals if I can put the night at their house. I even begged them to let me stay. I am willing to pay them. It was very difficult to communicate as they can’t speak English. In the end, we settled with another guest house, also with no electricity, but at least had water. Survival. We did what we need to do. Total ride today is about 300kms, 12 hours.

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NASTIA

Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
HAK CIPTA ANITA YUSOF