Day 1080 5th July 2019
13 miles (Cha lo to Ban nonchang Average speed 9.4 mph
Time to say farewell Vietnam. It has been wonderful to make new friends and see some of this beautiful country. Laos next, bring it on.
I got up late at 10.30 and couldn’t find breakfast in the rain so had two cups of tea and checked out before having a wonderful brunch with fish, pork, beef, rice and spinach with tea for 50000 in the same restaurant as last night.
I shared the restaurant with some border guards. Then I hit the border and the guards were recovering from their liquid lunch and were nowhere to be found. It only took ten minutes for them to appear and sign me out of Vietnam. The no mans land in between the two countries seemed to go on for a very long time with some very dubious lorry transactions going on.
As I approached the border the rain stopped and the sun appeared, a guard was too busy playing games or on fb to acknowledge me, but had phoned his English speaking colleague who arrived on a scooter to process my visa. His friend then arrived and asked for two dollars for helping! I told him where to go!!!
Although the road into Laos was damaged by lorries, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. There were roadworks but I found the new paved roads away from the slush and had a rest at a memorial while watching all the trucks backing up before heading downhill knowing that the logjam above meant I had the road to myself . This wasn’t to be the case as I was forced off the road into a ditch by an overtaking truck !!
Then it was downhill all the way to the atm and a guesthouse opposite; with no one around and some dodgy rooms I went back to this one which was a good choice. The owner welcomed me and gave me an aircon room for 50000 kip and then supplied me with a beer and chairs. I used his hose to wash the bike and then washed myself in a hot shower. I went in search of a restaurant but nowhere opened til 6 so I went to a shop and snooker hall.
Then I found a fancy restaurant beside a lake for worms and beef with rice and a couple of beers. I met a guy who I will visit in 3 days time to sample his restaurant.
I’ve decided to stay another day here as I’m not in a rush and can acclimatise to a new country. The people seem very friendly so I will make the most of their hospitality.
Guesthouse naphaobaidy 100000 kip.
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