Archive for November, 2011

November
29th
2011

Heightened Anticipation


Heightened anticipation

Finding ourselves cycling across unexpected mountain passes in snow storms and heading into deserts without sufficient water are examples of how our lack of in-depth planning does not always work in our favour. Upon entering a new country our route planning is mostly a brief survey of a map based on the knowledge that we must head in a certain compass direction to cross the border to our next destination. – Posted by Justin

November
21st
2011

Postcards From Luang Prabang


Postcards from Luang Prabang

The pressure has been off since we reached the borders of South East Asia. As compensation against the last few months of racing against seasons and visas, we’re actively slowing down in line with the relaxed attitudes prevalent in Laos. The country’s second biggest city, which has a certain French colonial charm preserved in a central peninsula filled with guesthouses and cafes, Luang Prabang had just the right atmosphere for a week off and was a brilliant base for doing very little indeed. – Posted by Emma

November
15th
2011

Early Riding Ritual


Early riding ritual

Getting up early to start cycling has become a regular part of our daily routine since the south of China – with afternoon temperatures in the high 20s cycling becomes a sweaty exhausting chore. Its a routine that seems harsh when an alarm calls at 5am but that brings rewards when you cycle under the welcome cool of early morning mist watching from the saddle as empty roads slowly fill with life. Having the bulk of your cycling over and done with by early afternoon isn’t too bad either. – Posted by Justin

November
15th
2011

20,000 Kilometre Photo


20,000 kilometre photo

The 20,000 kilometre photo was taken approximately 5km outside Luang Prabang, Laos on 15th November 2011. That day we had covered a fairly quick 110km alongside the Nam Ou river before it merged with the Mekong. In the evening when we were settled in our comfortable guest house we raised a few toasts to the distance cycled so far and promised ourselves celebratory cakes the next day. – Posted by Justin

November
11th
2011

Vietnam By Numbers


Vietnam by numbers

Only having five cycling days in Vietnam we had just a brief glimpse of what the country has to offer. Finding ourselves in Kunming, China with time to spare we found we could cycle a tiny corner of Vietnam to the Tay Trang border crossing to Laos, also increasing our country count to 15. Spending as much time in the tourist friendly town of Sa Pa as tiny rural villages meant we had little chance to learn much Vietnamese but we did take every opportunity to sample the new types of food on offer. Friendly children shouting hello and cute free roaming animals helped with the steep hill climbs as did the occasional thunder storm that drenched us in minutes. – Posted by Justin

November
10th
2011

Zooming Through Vietnam


Zooming through Vietnam

The Vietnamese bus touts are convinced they’ll get business from us. “Bus to Sa Pa” they call as we tuck away our passports, re-attach helmets and roll bicycles down a short but sheer ramp from border control into Vietnam proper. “We go by bicycle,” we reply. They shake heads. “No…. you go bus.” I look the youngest and most hopeful tout in the eyes and assure him that we’re very strong. He shakes his head in response: “Sa Pa? You go by bus?” – Posted by Emma

November
7th
2011

Day Of Food – Vietnam


Day of food - Vietnam

With just 11 days spent cycling in one of the more remote corners of Vietnam, we missed all the big cities, so didn’t have a chance to sample a wide range of the country’s kitchen skills. From our brief investigation we can report that the tang of Vietnamese fish sauce was refreshing after the sometimes oil-laden dishes of China, but some days it was difficult to find a variety of vegetables to supplement a meat heavy diet. Despite a few serious food miscommunications (rice served with noodles? just noodles?), the rice bowls of Vietnam fuelled us with enough carbs for a hilly ride to the border. – Posted by Emma