We woke up just before Sylvia, our Italian friend, knocked on the door to say goodbye. She saw that I had just woken up and asked me with questioning eyes if we were sure that we wanted to leave. I smiled and told her that today we will leave for sure, maybe not as early us we wanted to, but after breakfast we would head out. Most of our friends left this day as well. We had a great time, met many beautiful people and had lots of fun. However, it was time to leave and see the rest of Laos. We had only a one-month visa and had spent 10 days only in Luang Prabang.
It was a beautiful day, and we were both feeling ready to finally leave the city. We packed the bikes, had sticky rice and coffee, and said our goodbyes to our friends. On the way out of town, we stopped for the last, delicious banana coffee shake and then started to pedal out of town. We were excited to see what was in front of us.
A few km out of town, there is a cross where we turned left and started to climb. It was nice and not too steep of a hill with a beautiful, short descent on the other side. We were now following the road towards the second waterfall – Tad Se. Winding around mountains and passing hillside teak plantations through the beautiful landscape. Along the way, we met a group of Russian hitchhikers trying to get a lift. We wished them good luck, as it looked they were walking all the way from LP, which was now quite some km behind us.
Soon after, we met the Nam Khan River, which we followed on a nice flat stretch of the road. There were beautiful views on both sides all the way to the small town Xiang Ngeung, when the road started a long, steep ascent.
Two hundred meters before the first view point, the road became very, very steep and this is where Mirko’s handlebar cracked. He was in the middle of a steep curve when a big truck was coming from the opposite direction. He heard the crack, felt the movement of the handlebar, and almost lost his balance. Luckily, he managed to cycle with one hand a few more meters up the road until a place he could stop and wait for me.