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May 7, 2007

The Loop – Day 3

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Boy Eating Bread

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Boy Eating Bread

 

In the morning  I saw what a nice location the lodge was at.  Right on the river, listening to the birds and the village right next to it.  It wouldn’t have been a bad place to be stuck at all.  As I ate breakfast I watched a man a wife take down their garden that was built on a bank near of the river.  Talking to the guy at the lodge they were getting ready for the wet season when the river would rise 2 meters.  As I ate I decided I should probably try to get out of there that day as it seemed like the rainy season was beginning and the roads were only going to keep getting worse.  I also was thinking that the drive to the cave had been far easier than what I had built myself up for and while I was enjoying getting in the countryside and the sights I was a bit let down that it hadn’t been the adventure and challenge I’d expected.  Well that part was now taken care of so the journey was everything I’d hoped for.

Muddy BikeMuddy Bike

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Muddy Bike

 
Road after the RainRoad after the Rain

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Road after the Rain

 

Back went on the damp and muddy clothes and shoes and off I went at 9.  The road was at least as bad as I remember and there was a light rain to accompany me.  At least I could see now and knew to stay on the side of the road instead of the red stuff that built up and stuck to everything.  Slick and bumpy was ok so long as I was moving forward.  This time I made maybe 5 kilometers in an hour when I saw tracks on the main road.  I decided to give it a try and found it was packed well enough to drive on and I was able to go in third gear, slowing occasionally for bumps or to detour around where a bridge was being built.  I was really having a lot of fun with it.  Being wet wasn’t bothering me and my shoes already had as much mud on them as you could get so as long as I kept going I knew I would get there eventually.

I bogged down in the red mud one more time and had to get back on the side of the road, but at noon was pulling onto the paved road and driving through every puddle I could find to clean me and the bike off.  I rewarded myself at the guesthouse with a some delicious pancakes with honey on them and warm cup of tea.  From here on out the road was paved the whole way and was just going to be wet.  It rained for most of the three hours back which made it cold because of the wind (it was about 75 degrees), but I just wanted to get back so kept pushing along.  In town I washed the bike down and returned it to the lady.  I’d already paid for four days since that was my plan, but got the last days fee back along with my passport no problems at all.

As I said it turned into the adventure I had built myself up for, but only because of the rain and not the road conditions and dust.  It seems like the rainy season has begun now and it has rained at least 4 hours/day for the last three days now.  Yesterday I continued on south again on a bus trip that took 8 hours when it should have been about 5.  I really think that will be my last on of those as I’ll be near here the rest of week and then have one last bus into Thailand and a train trip to Bangkok where I fly out from in a week.

On the Dusty RoadOn the Dusty Road

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On the Dusty Road

Hydroelectric Dam ProjectHydroelectric Dam Project

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Hydroelectric Dam Project

My Bike and the Dirt RoadMy Bike and the Dirt Road

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My Bike and the Dirt Road

 
Rain on Day 1Rain on Day 1

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Rain on Day 1

Tractor TransporationTractor Transporation

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Tractor Transporation

Village in the CloudsVillage in the Clouds

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Village in the Clouds

 
Clouds are ClearingClouds are Clearing

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Clouds are Clearing

Wood BridgeWood Bridge

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Wood Bridge

Back on the RoadBack on the Road

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Back on the Road

 
Cave Enterance - At the Water's EdgeCave Enterance – At the Water’s Edge

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Cave Enterance – At the Water's Edge

Pulling the CanoePulling the Canoe

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Pulling the Canoe

Cave Entrance CloserCave Entrance Closer

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Cave Entrance Closer

 
Fording to the CaveFording to the Cave

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Fording to the Cave

I'm in the CaveI’m in the Cave

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I'm in the Cave

Other End of the CaveOther End of the Cave

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Other End of the Cave

 
Rapids in the CaveRapids in the Cave

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Rapids in the Cave

Goats in the VillageGoats in the Village

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Goats in the Village

View During BreakfastView During Breakfast

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View During Breakfast

 
Another Steep MountainAnother Steep Mountain

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Another Steep Mountain

Boy Eating BreadBoy Eating Bread

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Boy Eating Bread

Road after the RainRoad after the Rain

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Road after the Rain

 
Muddy BikeMuddy Bike

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Muddy Bike

Clouds and Rain on the Way HomeClouds and Rain on the Way Home

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Clouds and Rain on the Way Home

 
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