Hey guys! So Talia gave you guys a run-down of how the bike journey went! I have to admit it was a very fun and exciting experience. I’ve been on long journeys before but this really was something special.
When you sit in your car and start the engine, fix your mirrors, turn on your air conditioner or heater and start travelling you have a sense of comfort that the car will regulate the temperature, tell you accurately the stats of your fuel levels, your speeds etc. But on the bike it was just us and this single cylinder, going from A to a very faraway B.
Granted on a motorbike you also have these stats given to you but it has much less of a “time machine” feel. You don’t step in a door and know that when you step out you will be somewhere else, simply because you feel the distance pass you and smell the flora as it passes.
This particular B was 230 kilometers away from our start point, and oh my god it was the best 230 kilometers of my life. Every second I got the smell of the rice paddys, the feel of the wind on my face, the insects hitting me and my bike, instead of my windscreen and front grille.
Consider closing your eyes and imagining driving down a road that winds, twisting, turning, with a vast upwards sloping jungle on your right. This jungle has vines, bamboo and palm trees. You know in your mind that this jungle has tigers, bears, leopards, snakes and more, all living and hiding somewhere amongst the trees.
While on your left there is a steep drop with only a small patch of grass and on some turns a small barrier to prevent certain death. Beyond the steep drop there are mountains, as far as the eye can see, literally, everywhere. Some mountains are way higher than you as you zip past and you can only see them to a certain point before they are lost to the clouds. Other mountains are below as you look over the cliff and you can clearly see their peaks.
As you drive this winding road you are passing through villages of local tribes’ people. Some of these people are just farming, and you wonder to yourself whether they just farm for sustenance or if they sell their wares at a local or nearby market. You see families of animals wandering and meandering all over the road, some with a purpose you will never understand and some just crossing your path.
As you continue on down this road you notice the temperature around you is rising and dropping constantly at small increments. You don’t notice it at first but it takes a while, as you continue on the winding road southwards.
At some points you may have to slow down, as a recent landslide has covered the road and you have to traverse the rubble with care. Or in other cases slow down to watch an old dog, or slow lizard or snake cross your path.
It’s at this point you know you’re in Laos.