Jan 15, 2010
Day 14, Jan 15, nong khiaw to luang prabang
Slept till 6.45, had b/f, then coffee, and got on the road at 8. I had a bit of ambition to make good time to luang prabang. I reckoned it'd be around 120 km, it turned out to be 145. Again, another phantastic day, riding and otherwise!
The elevation changes were very moderate, within 170 m, for it followed the course of several rivers, nam miang, nam nga, nam ou and finally the mother of all rivers, the mighty nam khong, also known as Mekong.
Nam is btw the word for almost all liquids and everything related to fluids. nam prik (spicy sauce), nam (water), hoang nam (bathroom), nam nom (milk), nam (river), etc.
Cool and overcasted in the morning, the sun tried several times desperately to break through, which he/she accomplished not before 13.30.
Late noon I had a bath in the nam ou, desperately. Then along the road in a village an amazing sight, an elephant with his mahout! See the video...
The landscape is again karst and steep limestone cliffs. After half the distance the road meets the nam ou again. It follows ithe river to a point maybe 15 km before the confluence with the Mekong. Over the bridge and another 15 km and there is the Mekong! What a sight and joy! It's now 2 weeks ago when I saw the river last. The last 10 km into luang prabang wasn't really a joy, bad airpollution from too much traffic. Finally I rolled into town at 15.30, not bad! Too exhausted to look around i hit the very first guesthouse, cleaned up and went to the riverside restaurant where I used to go.
Later, after dark strolled about town, did some emailing (wifi again), a bit of shopping on the night market, eat some more, etc.
Km 145, Ave 22.2, Tm 6.22