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
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
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
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

December
7th
2011

Slow Motion Vientiane


Slow motion Vientiane

We approach a set of traffic lights on our way to the COPE visitor centre in Vientiane and I can’t help but wonder where I last saw the familiar sequence of red, orange and green. Certainly the capital must be the only place in Laos with traffic lights. I wonder if this is a sign of modern times, but I quickly change my assessment as I pedal closer. As if the lights are an apparition, not one road user is paying them any mind. – Posted by Emma

December
13th
2011

Day Of Food – Laos


Day of food - Laos

The food in Laos outside the more touristic towns consists of the staple noodles and rice prepared in a few different ways. In small villages the options are normally limited with us taking whatever is on offer supplemented with our own supply of biscuits and fresh fruit. The addition of sticky rice to the stir-fried and steamed variety has been great with us often carrying a plastic bag of this as snack food. – Posted by Justin

December
14th
2011

21,000 Kilometre Photo


21,000 kilometre photo

The 21,000 kilometre photo was taken on the way to Thakhek, Laos on 14th December 2011. This was almost exactly one month after our 20,000km photo was taken and must be one of our slowest thousand kilometres so far. Finding a way to show the 21 count was challenging but after experimenting with Justin using his toes we borrowed the fingers of a helpful but confused local man to make up the numbers. – Posted by Justin

December
14th
2011

Adventures On ‘The Loop’


Adventures on The Loop

Some waterfalls aren’t meant to be found. I’m looking at a wooden outrigger anchored to the concrete pier, down some steep steps at the edge of the tiny dusty settlement of Ban Phon Kham. We’ve ridden our bicycles down to the rivers edge to see if someone will take us on the hour long boat ride to Wang Fong waterfall upstream in Nam Kading national park, but the lack of security for our fully loaded bikes and windiness of the day has made Justin an unwilling partner. Its the same price for one person so he suggests I go alone. – Posted by Emma

December
25th
2011

Merry Christmas From Laos


Merry Christmas from Laos

The second Christmas ‘on the road’ finds us taking a pause at Kingfisher Ecolodge in Laos, where we’ve stretched our budget for a few days of watching elephants and buffalo stroll across the wetlands from our secluded porch. With not even a Christmas tree or elevator-style carols to disturb the tranquillity, we suspect this would be a great place to get away from the madness of the season. We managed to sneak in a little bit of the Christmas spirit with Santa visiting our bungalow in the night, delivering food-based presents in a familiar looking red backpack. – Posted by Emma

December
25th
2011

Cycling In Coffee Country


Cycling in coffee country

Emma loves coffee and the Bolaven Plateau in Southern Laos is a major coffee growing region. Could it be fate, luck or has the planning behind our entire cycle journey been leading towards Emma’s coffee Nirvana? As we head south from Thakhek the presence of coffee becomes impossible to ignore. Every small collection of shops we pass through requires a stop for mugs of thick black Laos coffee or cleverly tied and twisted takeaway bags full of ice, sweetened condensed milk and more of the black stuff. – Posted by Justin