Distance so far: 1093km
Finally made it down to Vientiane after a few days of serious riding over the Christmas period. I had expected some more hills after Luangprabang, but the climbs were more brutal than even I had dreamed up.
The first day out basically consisted of two 20km climbs that just went up and up and kept on going up further and further with zero respite. By about 4pm I'd reached a town about 80km in, but with the next stop 60km and two more climbs away I called it quits and got stuck into a few Beer Laos looking out over a spectacular drop below.
Christmas Day involved pedalling through an early morning market, then more of the same windy mountain roads, eventually descending into beautiful karst scenery to rival Yangshuo. It was really only the second bit of flat or straight road I've seen in Northern Laos, which says something about the cycling terrain here.
Having enjoyed a scrummy hotpot and a good night's recuperation it was another hundred-miler yesterday into Vientiane, where we have spent the day looking at more temples and enjoying (more of) the world's most amazing pancakes...
Tomorrow sees the beginning of a week-long trek back up north, which should involve burning off one or two of those pancake calories :)
Don't worry, we went for hotpot instead!!